Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hodgson wants to do United a favour

FULHAM manager Roy Hodgson insists his side can still have a major say in the destination of the Premier League title.

The Cottagers still have to face Chelsea and Liverpool before the end of the season and Hodgson's side are brimming with confidence after their 2- 0 defeat of league leaders Manchester United on Saturday.

It was Fulham's first home league victory over Manchester United in 45 years and Hodgson is already relishing Liverpool's visit to Craven Cottage on Saturday week and their trip to Stamford Bridge in May.

"We will be doing our very best to make certain that the performances we give against Liverpool and Chelsea are in no way inferior to the performance we gave against Manchester United," declared Hodgson. "We will work very hard, we will do our very best, and we will try and get points off them."

United's title bid hit another stumbling block thanks to Danny Murphy's penalty and a late goal by substitute Zoltan Gera.

But Hodgson was quick to warn Anfield manager Rafael Benitez and Chelsea's Guus Hiddink that they will have no easy ride against them.

"I hope they won't be thanking me when we play them, because there is no interest from my point of view in favouring any of the teams at the top," said Hodgson.

"My only interest is Fulham and trying to win matches. I can assure all Manchester United fans, and certainly my friend Sir Alex Ferguson, that we'll be working every bit as hard, and trying every bit as hard, to beat Liverpool and Chelsea."

Chelsea's failure to beat Tottenham on Saturday all but ended their own title chances but Liverpool's 5-0 demolition of Aston Villa put them just one point behind United.

The Red Devils will be without Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney, both sent off against Fulham, and Nemanja Vidic, dismissed in the previous 4-1 defeat against Liverpool, for their next league game against Villa.

But Hodgson still believes United remain favourites to lift the title once more.

"All of a sudden it's back to being more of a dogfight albeit, with the game in hand against Portsmouth, Manchester United can still have a comfortable lead," he said.

"There is going to come a time when life gets a little bit harder. But I don't think there is any team in the country better equipped to deal with that than Manchester United."

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