Hodgson hails Zamora impact

Cottagers boss happy to advance in Europa League

Hodgson: Praises Zamora

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Fulham manager Roy Hodgson hailed the impact of Bobby Zamora in the wake of the Cottagers' 3-2 win over Basle.

Two goals in three minutes at the end of the first half from Zamora set Fulham on their way in Switzerland, with Hodgson's side starting the game knowing that only a win would see them progress from Group E.

Basle put up a spirited fight after the break and Alexander Frei pulled one back from the penalty spot, but Zoltan Gera slotted home with 13 minutes remaining leaving Marco Streller's late effort as only a consolation.

Zamora, who hit out at his own fans after he scored against Sunderland earlier in the month, has scored nine goals this season and Hodgson praised the frontman.

"Bobby Zamora carried on from where he left off in the Premier League," he said.

"I thought he was very unlucky to have a first goal ruled out for offside, and he was a real thorn in the flesh of the Basle defence.

"I took him off as a precaution, he had a slight problem with his back. But he's got to be delighted with his performance.

"Bobby is one of our more popular players, he has a chant of his own and the fans seem to appreciate and like him. The one criticism is he hasn't scored enough goals but nine goals is a pretty good return for any forward.

"We were pretty good value tonight for the goals we scored and we could have scored more."

Priorities

Fulham left Brede Hangeland, Clint Dempsey and Damien Duff on the bench for the game at St Jakob Park - another indication that the Europa League is seen as a distraction by the manager with the weekend game against Manchester United looming large.

However, despite admitting that the competition is taxing on the squad, Hodgson said he was pleased to progress to the knockout stages for the fans.

"I don't know whether I am enthusiastic (now we have qualified), I am very satisfied," he added. "I am particularly pleased for the fans.

"I walked around Basle today and I was stopped by fans saying how much they were enjoying the adventure.

"I am looking forward to the next round, the draw to see who we get and then we see how far we can go. I wouldn't mind playing Juventus.

"We have done more than we set out to do. It's been a bonus so far and now we face an even bigger bonus."