Hodgson defends Ronaldo
Cottagers chief warns defender
Last Updated: March 6, 2009 6:20pm
Hodgson: Backing for rival
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has defended Cristiano Ronaldo against recent accusations of diving and arrogance but warned Paul Konchesky to be wary of the Manchester United star in Saturday's FA Cup tie.
Ronaldo and co take on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday looking to continue their pursuit of glory on five fronts.
The Portuguese star has been in the spotlight this week after he was booked for an apparent dive in the Carling Cup final and then Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claimed the player's arrogance' made him a target for opposition players.
Hodgson has refused to join the band condemning Ronaldo's antics, but knows Konchesky will need to be careful with him at Craven Cottage.
"To be fair, I don't think in the situations I've seen there's been a lot of
blatant diving (from Ronaldo) these days," said Hodgson. "But at the speed he goes at, when he loses control of the ball and people are in there making attempted challenges, the referee has a difficult task on his hands.
"Take the penalty incident in the Carling Cup final; I must have watched that 15 times and I'm still not 100% convinced either way.
Unsure"I don't think Ronaldo is definitely diving and I'm not convinced he was definitely fouled by Ledley King.
"Ronaldo is the greatest example in our league but there are other wingers who run with the ball at pace and when you are confronted with that you have to be aware that with a rash challenge on your part, with the speed of the player going past you, you could be giving away a penalty without attempting to do anything other than make a tackle.
"Manchester United switch the play very well, so if Paul Scholes has hit a 70-yard pass at the speed of light onto Ronaldo's boot and your full-back, Paul Konchesky in this case, is trying to get out there, it's a dangerous situation.
"Discipline, caution, staying on your feet, being prepared to run with someone, being prepared to accept he might go past you and that you'll need to make a second effort, they are the crucial factors for us tomorrow."