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Murphy defends rotation

Image: Murphy: Expecting more changes

Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy has called for 'understanding' over the club's squad rotation.

Midfielder insists club should be allowed to utilise squad

Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy has called for 'understanding' over the club's squad rotation as they chase European glory. Boss Roy Hodgson has been criticised in recent weeks for fielding supposedly 'weaker' teams in the top-flight, with West Ham particularly irked by the Cottagers' line-up in their recent defeat at Hull City. With Europa League success still very much a possibility, Hodgson has elected to rest a number of his key men for league games which, in comparison, have little bearing on their campaign. The Cottagers boss could do the same against Everton at Goodison Park, according to Murphy, who feels the club should not be punished for utilising their strength in depth.

Understanding

"I am sure we'll be criticised whatever we do at the weekend," said the former Liverpool star. "But there has to be some more understanding. "If you are not allowed to rotate the squad in a situation like this, when are you?" With flights grounded earlier in the week, Fulham were forced to make a gruelling 17-hour coach journey to Germany but they still managed to hold Hamburg to a goalless draw in their semi-final first leg. That sets them up nicely for the return leg at Craven Cottage which Murphy insists takes priority over league games at the moment, especially with Fulham already assured of top-flight football next term.
Changes
"Nobody could have foreseen this situation, with the volcano and stuff, but even if that wasn't the case, to be playing the two biggest games in the club's history within seven days and have a Premier League game in between is exceptionally hard," he said. "We have got where we are with rotation," argued Murphy, insisting that the Cottagers' fringe players have just as much ability. "Everyone knows there are certain players who are automatic choices but the ones in the background aren't young kids, they are experienced international players." He added: "It's a debate I'm sure will go on. But people who know football realise that anybody would do the same in our situation and I fully expect to see a good few changes at the weekend."

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