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.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam