Fulham weigh response to West Ham claims

Press Association
Saturday 03 April 2010 10:03
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Fulham will decide this weekend how to respond to West Ham's claims that they broke Premier League rules by resting five key players for last week's defeat at Hull.

Manager Roy Hodgson insists he did nothing wrong when he chose to rest Damien Duff, Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora, Aaron Hughes and Dickson Etuhu for the match, which brought Iain Dowie his first win as Tigers boss.

Premier League rules state that teams must field their strongest available XI in every game and Hodgson will argue that he was merely rotating a squad that has had to play 52 matches in a gruelling campaign.

The Cottagers could be hit with a similar punishment to that handed out to Wolves, who were handed a suspended £25,000 fine for resting nine players in September's defeat at Old Trafford.

After hearing about the complaint, Hodgson said: "If there is a complaint my conscience is perfectly clear on the subject and as far as I'm concerned we don't have a case to answer.

"I can't understand why, if you have a large squad, it's not allowed for you to change things around. I can't imagine anyone questioning Liverpool, Manchester United or Chelsea for using all the players in their squad."

Clint Dempsey was one of the five players who came in for the game against Hull and he should start against Wigan on Sunday after impressing in the 2-1 Europa League win over Wolfsburg.

The American denies that Fulham, who are without a league win since February, have given up on the league to concentrate on fulfilling their ambitions in Europe.

"We want to get as many points as we can and finish as high up the table as possible," said the 27-year-old. "We've got to continue the positive home form we've had this season so hopefully we can do that and get the points we need.

"We've still got a few games left and we want to get as many points as possible to finish as high as possible, it's as simple as that."

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