Fulham wait on Europa League after Zoltan Gera red card

Mark Hughes hopes Zoltan Gera's red card will not cost Fulham the chance of a place in Europe next season as the Hungarian left Craven Cottage for what could be the last time after being sent off in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal.

England are set to be handed an additional place in the Europa League qualifiers via UEFA's Fair Play League, which with both Chelsea and Tottenham already in Europe could see Fulham given the opportunity.

However, with the final rankings not calculated until factors from yesterday's season-ending games - such as UEFA delegates reports on attitudes towards referees and crowd behaviour - are taken into consideration as well as on-field disciplinary matters, Fulham face an anxious few days before they will discover if they have stayed ahead of relegated Blackpool to be in contention.

Gera was shown a straight red card for a two-footed lunge at Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen just minutes after having come on as a substitute.

Hughes, though, remains optimistic Fulham's first such incident of the season will not have a major role to play.

"I am hopeful it won't have too much impact because it's factored over 38 games," said Hughes, who guided the Cottagers safely up the Barclays Premier League table following a difficult start to his Fulham career.

"Eighth is some achievement and European football counts as an outstanding season.

"We need to find out one way or another. We will back in three weeks once we know.

"European football can help when you try to attract players to your club, so there is an intention and will to do well in the competition."

Hungary midfielder Gera, 32, could have played his last game for Fulham as he is out of contract, but Hughes added: "Zolly may feel he will get more opportunities elsewhere, but ideally we would like him to stay.

"We would be very disappointed if his Fulham career ended on that note."

Hughes, though, accepted there would be changes to the playing staff over the summer, with men like Ghana international John Pantsil set to leave.

"We are trying to freshen up the squad and the view is that we can look at other alternatives," said the Fulham boss.

Steve Sidwell had swept Fulham in front on 26 minutes, only for Robin van Persie to quickly equalise with his ninth consecutive away goal.

Bobby Zamora nodded the Cottagers back into the lead just before the hour ahead of Gera's dismissal - but a late goal from Theo Walcott earned Arsenal a point as they finished fourth behind FA Cup winners Manchester City.

Zamora may well be in contention for another England chance in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland in June, but Hughes feels the striker needs more recovery having just returned from injury and going off late on yesterday.

"I don't think he is ready for any games at the end of the season," said Hughes.

"Bobby needs a full pre-season and once Premier League is starting again I would imagine he would be very much in the England manager's mind."



News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little