Ferguson salutes Hodgson and Fulham

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson claims Roy Hodgson is a certainty to be named Manager of the Year and feels Fulham's "miraculous" march to the Europa League final is one of the best achievements by a British club in Europe.

Ferguson has won four European titles himself, one at Aberdeen and three with Manchester United.

But he feels even those epics have been matched by Fulham's astonishing performance, topped off last night when they came from behind to beat Hamburg in the semi-final at Craven Cottage.

"Roy should be manager of the year, there is absolutely no doubt about it," said Ferguson.

"It is a miracle. Hopefully he does win it now but it is one of the best British performances of all time."

Ferguson revealed he sent Hodgson a good luck message prior to kick-off and that former Cottagers keeper Edwin van der Sar was not the only player in the Old Trafford dressing room hoping the Londoners would come through.

He was also taken aback by a morning discussion about Fulham's perceived below-par performance in their 59th game of the season, which began in Lithuania in mid-July.

"I sent Roy a text message and everyone at the club was wishing them all the best," he said.

"When you go 1-0 down to a German team you say to yourself it is going to be hard but the comeback was fantastic.

"I heard people on the radio this morning saying that they didn't play well. It was their 59th game of the season and people were talking about their performance!

"He was doing well to get those players onto the pitch because he can only have about 16 players in his squad.

"They still have another four games to play yet. That will be 63.

"They started in that tournament in July. July! Crikey. I was on the beach."

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy echoed Ferguson's sentiments.

He said: "Roy and Fulham have had a couple of fantastic seasons. Since going in there, Roy has really improved it.They are a really solid team.

"Don't forget, they were 4-1 down to Juventus at one stage and to come back and win that game and get to the final is amazing.

"Roy has got my vote as manager of the year. I think he deserves it. He has made the most of his resources without any shadow of a doubt. It is a fantastic achievement."

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