Johnson return lifts Hodgson
Fulham manager excited by strike partnership
Last Updated: January 4, 2010 6:20pm
Johnson: Back to fitness
Roy Hodgson has welcomed the return to fitness of striker Andy Johnson and is looking forward to unleashing him in tandem with Bobby Zamora.
Fulham have been in fine form of late with Zamora leading the line magnificently but Hodgson believes they can now go from strength to strength with Johnson back in the ranks.
The former Everton man Everton man made his first start since October in Saturday's FA Cup third round win over Swindon.
He has struggled with groin and shoulder injuries this season and is yet to score in the Premier League, but Hodgson is prepared to give him the chance to rediscover his best form.
"Bobby and AJ have a good understanding together and AJ gives us that threat in behind," said Hodgson.
"Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora are our first choice strikers. We have others, Zoltan (Gera) has done a great job in there, of course we've got (Erik) Nevland, (Diomansy) Kamara and (Seol) Ki-Hyeon.
"But Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora were the two players who were bought to play in those positions and they are the two players who last season kicked us into seventh place."
Johnson and Zamora could start together in Tuesday's Premier League clash away to Stoke.
The Potters are without a league win in six games but Hodgson is still wary of the threat they will present.
He said: "There's some really important Premier League points at stake for both teams.
"Stoke have been very good at home recently, they have had one or two blips but they are a tough team to beat in the Britannia Stadium.
"They have a style of football which is well ingrained in them, well coached and we'll have to defend at least as well as we did against Swindon, if not better, to keep them out."