Johnson starting to pay off

AJ starts to show his worth at Cottage

Johnson: Worth it

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Fulham boss Roy Hodgson says big-money signing Andrew Johnson is finally starting to live up to his transfer tag.

The West London club have so far paid Everton £8million for the England international, with another £2.5million to come based on appearances and certain milestones.

In return, Johnson offered a less-than-electric start, with his first five games yielding no goals and a red card.

But the last few weeks have seen the forward come alive with four goals in five matches since 29th October - and Hodgson is delighted.

Torres

Hodgson said: "It's not a gamble to sign a player with such a proven track record. Fernando Torres was coveted for several years by teams playing all over Europe before Liverpool agreed to pay the enormous transfer fee that Atletico Madrid wanted.

"With Andy Johnson it's the same. Players of quality don't lose that overnight because they have two or three games without scoring a goal.

"We signed him for a 38-game season, not a three-game season. He came to us not having had a pre-season and it took a few more weeks before he was fit enough to play.

"And what is a lot of money these days? The amount we spent on him is about the same as Manchester United's valuation of Frazier Campbell, who is 19 and just about to play.

Good value

"Andy Johnson represents very good value as a player who over the years has proven he can do the job at Premier League level. How much did Pavlyuchenko cost (Tottenham)? He was on the bench last week."

Meanwhile, Fulham go to Anfield having never won there but start in a top-10 position after home wins over Newcastle and Tottenham.

Hodgson said: "Three in a row at any time in this league is fantastic.

"If we ignore those four teams where relegation is unthinkable, the rest of us from Aston Villa downwards believe that if we can get three wins in a row then a large part of our work is done because we have broken the back of where we want to be.

"It's a tall order and a big ask for the players to go to Liverpool and get that third win but for Fulham to get three wins in a row, one of them would have to be against a team that nobody has given us a chance of beating."