Defeat will take time to get over says Hodgson
Roy Hodgson has admitted he will need to let the pain subside before he can work out whether there will be any lingering benefits from Fulham's run to the Europa League final.
An amazing 17-match journey, that began in Lithuania last July, came to a shattering conclusion in Hamburg last night thanks to Diego Forlan's goal three minutes from the end of extra-time.
It means that not only did Fulham lose the biggest match in their history, it also condemned them to a season without European football given the safety net of entry via UEFA's Fair Play Table had already been removed by England's slide down the rankings.
So Hodgson needs to look more closely to work out what advantages Fulham have gained beyond the prestige of reaching their first European final.
"When you look round a dressing room at a team that has just lost a final, you don't think about what a boost you have received, or how it will help us next season," said Hodgson.
"Before that you have to suffer. And it will take a bit of time before that pain passes over.
"Maybe when that pain has gone we can turn our attention to whether it has done us any good."
Undoubtedly it has enhanced Hodgson's reputation.
The former Inter Milan coach has already been named the League Managers' Association manager of the year and the links to Liverpool have come as no great surprise as Rafael Benitez's future continues to be the subject of great debate.
As Benitez is by no means certain to leave amid the internal issues that still have to be resolved at Anfield, a more obvious career path for the 62-year-old would be to take charge of the British Olympic team, and from there move on to the England job.
The prestigious Olympic job cannot be allocated until the British Olympic Association finally confirm the team will be made up of English players only, the compromise that was reached by the Home Nations amid fears about their standing within FIFA.
However, Hodgson has been spoken of as one of two clear candidates, the other being present England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce.
As the Olympic team would be an Under-23 side, plus three overage players, there would seem to be sense in opting for Pearce, but in terms of the potential for succeeding Fabio Capello, whose contract expires in 2012, Hodgson would be a better bet.
Crucially, former chief executive Ian Watmore was Pearce's biggest backer and with him now out of the frame, Lord Triesman's leaning towards Hodgson might mean the FA chairman gets his way.
Few would debate Hodgson as a worthy successor to Capello, having proved beyond all doubt in his three years at Craven Cottage what an able and steady manager he is.
However, he is also aware that by staying at Fulham next season he will deny himself the wider competition he has always seemed to crave, and hand himself a potential rebuilding exercise given seven players are out of contract at the end of next season.
"Next season will be a quite straightforward Premier League season," he reflected.
"Having said that, the Premier League, like Serie A, La Liga and the Bundesliga, is one of the very top leagues in Europe.
"Just being a part of it in itself is something really important."
Latest in Sport
Bath vs Saracens Premiership Final match preview: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Hector Bellerin: How saying no to Barcelona paid off for Bellerin - and Arsenal
Paul Scholes column: With Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Fifa corruption live: Sepp Blatter tries to shift attention to Uefa and says he expects more from US investigators
David Gill rejects Fifa vice-president role after Sepp Blatter wins election because of the 'terribly damaging events' under his reign
- 1 Engineer pictured fixing plane's engine with 'duct tape' by concerned EasyJet passenger
- 2 Two-year-old says goodbye to bin man best friend
- 4 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 5 Remove smartphones from the hands of under-18s and maybe they will grow up to be less dumb
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote