Hodgson turns down Sweden and Norway offers

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The Independent Football

Fulham will be under pressure to secure boss Roy Hodgson on a long-term contract after it emerged he turned down approaches from Norway as well as Sweden.

The 62-year-old's current deal at Craven Cottage expires at the end of the season and discussions about an extension is not yet high on the agenda, although the demand for his services may force club officials to prioritise the issue.

Hodgson's reputation across the continent has been long standing and has been bolstered by saving Fulham from relegation then taking them to the Europa League this season, with Italian giants Roma the opponents tomorrow.

After revealing he turned down Sweden and Norway, Hodgson said: "It's very nice to be mentioned. I've made clear to the people that have contacted me that I have a contract here at Fulham and I intend to honour that contract. I am very happy here.

"Whether or not the job appeals to me or not, it is a non-starter as I am not free or at liberty to take that job. I've made it clear there is no point in considering me because I am not available."

While Sweden's interest has been well documented, Norway's approach was revealed by Hodgson on the eve of the Roma clash at Craven Cottage.

"They are two countries that I have great affection and affiliation towards so it is nice to be thought of - but they know my situation," Hodgson added.

Facing Roma illustrates how far Hodgson has taken Fulham.

He will be attempting to beat Claudio Ranieri for the first time in his career, with the Roma coach also boasting a fine record against Fulham - he never lost to them while he was manager at Chelsea.

"We were very friendly when he was at Fiorentina and I was at Inter," Hodgson said. "He's one of the coaches I have had a very good rapport with.

"I'm pleased to see him back and working at such a club but I would have preferred not facing such a quality coach this week."

The hosts are top of Group E, but Hodgson could rest players following the win over Hull on Monday and the Barclays Premier League trip to Manchester City coming up on Sunday.

"It is the league that counts and we make no apologies for resting players because that is our priority," Hodgson said. "At the same time we are trying our very best and so far have done well in both."

Danny Murphy has a knee injury and could be out until after the international break, while Kagisho Dikgacoi is not on the UEFA list of registered players in the squad. Toni Kallio (Achilles) and Simon Davies (foot) will also miss out, along with Dickson Etuhu and Andrew Johnson.

"We are anxious to make the odd change so that some players are fresh for Sunday," Hodgson added.

Jonathan Greening is likely to deputise for Murphy, with the 30-year-old in his first European campaign since winning a Champions League winners' medal with Manchester United in 1999, even though he was only an unused substitute at the Camp Nou final.

"This is why I came to Fulham - for the challenge and to play in games like this," Greening said. "I think we can go a long way because there is quality throughout and players to come back too.

"I've only played a couple of games but it is different to the Premier League, maybe not as fast and a bit more tactical. I'm really enjoying it and it's great for the club.

"It will be a difficult game so we need to be compact and do what we do well. They have good attacking players and need to wary of that but also assert our style on them."

Despite the prospect of three games in a week, Greening added: "I'm used to plenty of games in the Championship with West Brom so it's not too bad for me."