Fulham midfielder Zoltan Gera has backed manager Roy Hodgson for rotating his squad.
Fulham midfielder backing boss with Europa glory in sight
Fulham midfielder Zoltan Gera has backed manager Roy Hodgson for rotating his squad with Europa League glory in his sights.
Hodgson's men tackle Hamburg at Craven Cottage in the second leg of their semi-final showdown on Thursday having returned from Germany with an admirable 0-0 draw.
The Cottagers boss has used the full depth of his squad this season due to their impressive European adventure, but that has irked some Premier League rivals, most notably West Ham.
But with little to play for in domestic competition and the club just 90 minutes away from an unprecedented Europa League final appearance, Gera believes it is vital that the key men are kept fresh.
"I didn't play against Everton, what's more I didn't even travel with the team. Our manager let me know after the Europa League game (in Hamburg) that I'll be rested in the Premier League with some of my team-mates," he wrote in his blog on Hungarian football website Pepsifoci
"I would be lying if I said I didn't like this rest as our past weeks have been very tough. All the games have been very speedy and I could regenerate well during the weekend, especially after our long journeys.
"Our game in Hamburg was quite interesting. Everyone thought - me too - that we'd be tired after our day-long travel but I was fresher than ever."
Gera admits he was disappointed not to find the net in the first leg against Hamburg and hopes Fulham are not left to rue their missed opportunities.
He added: "I enjoyed the game. I was just a bit unhappy because I didn't manage to score though I had the chance for it at least two times. It's a pity because an away goal, an away victory could've been very good.
"Our goalless game is not the best omen because so far we could score on all of our away games in the Europa League.
"Now it'll be another game, after the goalless draw we have to win on home soil. If we don't win then we just can go through with penalties. Of course I'd accept this [winning on penalties] if it meant that we could go into the final."