Baird stunned by appointment

Fulham defender expected Collins to get job

Baird: Surprised

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Chris Baird has admitted that Fulham's players were surprised by the appointment of Roy Hodgson as manager.

Former Fulham midfielder John Collins had been expected to take the job after resigning as Hibernian boss earlier this month.

However, Hodgson has now been named as Lawrie Sanchez's successor and will begin work after Saturday's clash with Birmingham.

"Obviously we thought as players it was going to be John Collins, and even Terry Venables for a time, so I was very surprised that Roy Hodgson got it," defender Baird told Sky Sports News.

"We were kept in the dark but it's all done and dusted now."

Al Fayed vision

Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed has explained that Hodgson was offered the role because he has experience in European football as well as the Premier League.

He said: "It is my vision to combine the best of the fantastic traditions of the English Premier League with the flair and innate professionalism of the continental game - which I hope will return Fulham to its tradition of playing attractive, passing football.

"I believe that Roy has immense experience in all areas of football and can drive this club forward for the long term.

"My commitment to this club has never dwindled, and I am more than ever determined that we have the right man to turn round our current predicament and build for a successful future."