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English Premiership

Fulham eye another scalp

LONDON, December 26 – Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is targeting another heavyweight Premier League scalp when Tottenham come calling at Craven Cottage on Saturday.Fulham’s 3-0 victory over Manchester United last weekend was one of the most impressive results of the season so far, and it came from a side that has already seen off Liverpool.

Hodgson hopes capital rivals Spurs will also come unstuck, even though he is a great admirer of their team, and their manager.

"I’m pleased to be playing Tottenham on the back of a couple of good results against FC Basel and Manchester United because they are in excellent form," Hodgson said on Friday.

"In fact, they’ve been in excellent form since Harry Redknapp has been manager there.

"He rescued them from relegation and it’s been upwards ever since. We have an enormous amount of respect for them.

"They’ve bought very wisely, signing some excellent players, and have invested very heavily to have a good season.

"But it’s good to be playing at Craven Cottage so soon after the Manchester United game.

"When you’re playing well and winning, the mood is good and it creates confidence.

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"It can be easily broken by a couple of bad results but we’re going into the game at least hoping to reproduce the performances of the last few weeks."

Hodgson could pair Bobby Zamora with Andy Johnson in attack, at some stage in the match.

Johnson returned to training this week after recovering from the groin injury which has kept him sidelined since October.

The former England frontman is available for selection but is highly unlikely to start.

Hodgson explained: "It hasn’t been decided if Andy will play. Clinically he’s fit enough.

"He hasn’t played many games so it would be risky to put him in there. He’s physically fit to play and I can select him if I want."

Zamora’s form this season means Hodgson has no regrets over the club’s failure to sign Peter Crouch.

England striker Crouch completed a nine million pound transfer from Portsmouth to Tottenham in the summer after rejecting a move to Craven Cottage.

In the same transfer window Zamora turned down an offer from Hull after deciding to fight for his place in west London, and Fulham have benefited enormously.

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The 28-year-old striker scored his 10th goal of the season in the victory over United and has been a revelation in recent weeks.

Hodgson said: "No I don’t wish we had signed Crouch because luckily Bobby Zamora has come up trumps and has played so well.

"Crouch had the chance to join Fulham or Tottenham and he chose them. That meant we were able to keep Bobby. With Bobby playing well it’s not something we’ve missed.

"When Bobby was on his way to Hull, as was being mooted at the time, it would have been much more problematic for us.

"Peter made his decision and we’re pleased he’s doing well but we’ve survived with the players we have."

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