Roy Hodgson plays down Fulham form

Roy Hodgson has advised caution over unrealistic expectations as Fulham attempt to complete an outstanding year with victory at Chelsea tomorrow.

Pundits have been queuing up to shower Hodgson's Fulham with praise as the club continues to punch above its weight under the guidance of their astute manager.



They finished last season's Barclays Premier League campaign in an all-time high of seventh, qualifying for the Europa League, and continue to thrive this term.



A last 32 appointment with Shakhtar Donetsk awaits in Europe while the club enter tomorrow's Bank Holiday round of fixtures in ninth place, five points above Sunderland.



Evidence of their growing ambition could be gleaned from their frustration at failing to dispatch Champions League-chasing Tottenham in yesterday's goalless draw at Craven Cottage.



Just seven days earlier they thumped champions Manchester United 3-0 and west London rivals Chelsea will face a side brimming with confidence.



But while Hodgson agrees Fulham fans should be revelling in the success, he implores them not to lose sight of the club's limitations.



"Our blank sheet of paper at the start of the season said stay up," he said.



"I'm delighted with the way things are going, especially for the chairman because he's had many bad years.



"The fans are enjoying it and this is a very good moment in our history.



"But if we ever start thinking this is easy, we'll be heading for a fall.



"Just look at clubs like Leeds, Charlton and Norwich - who'd have thought it possible that they'd be where they are now?



"Our message to the fans is let's keep enjoying it but to not lose sight of why it's happening. Let's not get carried away.



"We'll never have more than 24,000 people watching our games in our wonderful old stadium.



"We won't have a ground like the Emirates or Old Trafford because this is who we are.



"We are near the maximum of what we can be, but we can stay here.



"There's no reason why we have to drop but it will be very hard to stay here."



Fulham's hopes of securing a rare victory over their neighbours have been damaged by the availability of Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and John Obi Mikel, who have agreed a delay to their departure for the African Nations Cup.



But Nicolas Anelka, Michael Essien and Florent Malouda are missing and Fulham will fancy their chances of toppling a team that has drawn four of their last five matches.



"Chelsea have strength in depth and that great feeling that constant winning does for you. They just don't lose at Stamford Bridge," he said.



"They feel that whatever team they put out will be capable of beating the Fulhams of this world. Hopefully we'll frighten them a little bit.



"We're not involved in the title race but I listen to what the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti are saying and we must give them credence when they say the Premiership is tougher than ever.



"They know they will lose more games than they did a few years ago."



Fulham will assess the fitness of Brede Hangeland carefully before deciding if the centre-back will start.



Hangeland suffered a knee injury during yesterday's warm-up and although he completed the match he is a doubt to face the Premier League leaders.



Only the heroics of Heurelho Gomes denied Fulham three points against Spurs with the Brazilian keeper denying goalbound attempts by Clint Dempsey, Bobby Zamora, Zoltan Gera and Damien Duff.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living