Hodgson defends selection

Image: Hodgson: Hits back at criticism

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson insists he was not wrong to field a weakened side at Hull City.

Cottagers boss understands boos for Bullard

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson angrily dismissed suggestions that he will have infuriated fellow Premier League managers by fielding a weakened side in Saturday's defeat at Hull City. The Tigers boosted their hopes of Premier League survival at the KC Stadium as Jimmy Bullard scored a penalty against his former club and Craig Fagan netted with a header. With a Europa League quarter-final against Wolfsburg looming, Hodgson rested Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy, Damien Duff and Aaron Hughes in what has been a marathon season for his side. But the Fulham boss does not think he will have risked the wrath of West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola, whose side are fighting for survival alongside Hull, by recalling the likes of Kagisho Dikgacoi and Clint Dempsey. Hodgson said: "I had confidence in the players I put in the team, players like Dikgacoi and Dempsey needed more football. They got injured in January." Asked if Zola will be cross, he added: "No, I don't think so. I think what most managers should be saying is how well we have done to keep playing the same players week after week.

More money

"We played seven matches in 21 days in February. We have played eight in 24 days in March and we have got another seven or eight in 26 days in April. "I do not think it is fair for anybody to suggest that we can do that with 11 players. "I think that the players who have come into the team, Dempsey for Zamora, Dikgacoi for Murphy and (Chris) Smalling for Hughes, I think I am entitled to say that those players are more than capable of playing at this level." He added: "I do not think that we have done anything that anyone could expect us to do otherwise." Meanwhile, Hodgson was not surprised that Bullard, who left Craven Cottage in 2009, was a target for the Fulham boo-boys. "They weren't very happy when he refused to sign a new contract with Fulham and went to Hull for an awful lot more money," he said. "So I don't think I can really criticise them for that. He knew what he was doing, he wanted the contract that was on offer here (the KC Stadium). He was not prepared to accept the contract offer that we were prepared to offer."

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