Hodgson backs Zamora for England

Roy Hodgson believes Fabio Capello will have been impressed by Fulham matchwinner Bobby Zamora in yesterday's 2-1 victory over Birmingham.

Zamora rifled home a superb last-minute free-kick to claim his 15th goal in 32 starts and propel Fulham up to ninth place in the Barclays Premier League.

Capello had left Craven Cottage when Zamora pounced but Hodgson believes the 29-year-old's accomplished display throughout will already have caught the England coach's eye.

"Capello will have been impressed. I know the fans were chanting his name for England and that was quite right," said the Fulham boss.

"Capello knows football very well and is a person I regard as a friend. I've got every faith in his judgment.

"If he believes Bobby can do a job for him he'll pick him.

"I'm sure that being the good judge of a player that he is, he'll have gone away realising that in Bobby Fulham have a good player."

Zamora, who almost joined Hull in the summer, has been a revelation since being taunted by his own fans in December.

The clamour for his selection by England has grown and he could be involved against Egypt on March 3.

"Bobby is performing like a true target-playing centre forward who brings his team-mates into the game and holds the ball up very well. But because he's skilful he also scores goals," said Hodgson.

"Last year he did all of the things we wanted him to do but wasn't lucky but this year he's added the goals to his good play.

"That's fortunate because Andy Johnson has not been available. Last year when people were criticising Bobby for not scoring goals, I had to balance that out.

"I couldn't argue because he wasn't scoring enough goals, but he was doing a lot of other very good things that we needed him to do for the team."

A Chris Baird own goal gave Birmingham the lead but Fulham responded with a magnificent strike from Damien Duff before Zamora snatched victory.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish took pride in the knowledge it took two spectacular strikes to topple his side.

"It took a piece of inspiration from Damien Duff to get Fulham back into it. That's what you need sometimes," he said.

"Bobby Zamora was a thorn all afternoon - he caused us a lot of problems.

"I'm disappointed we conceded a free-kick that late in the game on the edge of the box.

"Stephen Carr is devastated in the training room but he doesn't make many mistakes so he'll bounce back."

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