Hodgson keen to keep Nevland
Roy Hodgson is keen to sort out the future of Erik Nevland before the end of the season.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 26/04/09 5:06pm
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is keen to sort out the future of striker Erik Nevland after the Norwegian scored the only goal of the game against Stoke on Saturday.
The 31-year-old has had to make do with cameo appearances off the bench this season as Hodgson sticks with the pairing of Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora upfront.
In fact the former Manchester United youngster is yet to start a Premier League game this term but his manager is still hoping the frontman will stay.
The former Inter boss faces competition from Nevland's former club Viking, where the player first played under Hodgson, who are said to be eager on bringing him back at the end of the season.
"He was a player I got to know at Viking," he said.
"He has been a Man United youth player. I think he spent some years there but never broke into the first team.
"He had been at Viking for a few years by the time I got back there, in fact he was in the last year of his contract.
"The club was very close to relegation when I got there we were in the bottom two. He did a fantastic job but we could not hang onto him, but I always remembered the job he did for us in those six months.
"So when I came to Fulham and was desperate to get out of the situation we were in, I always remembered Erik and what he had done and we were lucky to sign him from Groningen."
Hodgson adds that they only thing holding Nevland back is his slight physique, but despite that the Cottagers chief is still determined to keep hold of his charge.
"Andrew Johnson's arrival has pushed him back because they are similar players," he continued.
"Erik is not that tall and height and strength in this league is becoming reasonably important.
"If you don't have your fair share of six-footers in the team you suffer from set-plays. I was pleased with him today, he made the chance and took it himself.
"He has been an outstanding professional since he's been here. Viking are desperate to get him back and I'd like to keep him of course.
"That is something we'll have to discuss in the coming weeks.
"I would be interested to hear how he sees things because he has done such a good job for us and I certainly would not want to force a decision on him that he was not happy with.
"But if he was happy to stay with us we'd be very happy to keep him."