Fulham wait on Zamora

Image: Zamora: Suffering with illness

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora did not train ahead of their Europa League quarter-final tie with Wolfsburg.

Cottagers boss Hodgson hopeful top scorer will pull through

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora did not train with his team-mates ahead of the club's Europa League quarter-final first leg tie with Wolfsburg. The Cottagers take on the German champions at Craven Cottage on Thursday and Zamora is a doubt for the clash as he has been suffering from illness. The problem kept the 29-year-old out of the weekend defeat at Hull City and manager Roy Hodgson revealed the front man had been sent home after reporting to training with a cold. Hodgson claimed the measure was simply a precaution and remained confident his top scorer would be fit enough to feature in the first leg encounter. The 62-year-old told Sky Sports News: "He came in today with a cold so we decided not to take any chances with this beautiful spring weather we're experiencing here at the moment.


"Rather than send him out in the Arctic conditions we sent him home instead and hopefully he'll be fully fit. "The people in the medical department are very confident that the precaution was a sensible precaution - but it is a precaution more than anything else. "I'd be very surprised if he doesn't make it but of course there is always a risk because he didn't train today." Losing Zamora would hamper Fulham's hopes of taking an advantage back to the Volkswagen Arena for the return leg in eight days' time. The former Brighton man has struck 15 times this season, including four in European competition. And while he remains doubtful, Hodgson said he was preparing his team around Zamora starting, admitting the prospect of the striker not pulling through would be a massive blow. He added: "I'm planning for Zamora playing, there's no question about that. He's in our starting 11 and we're trying to play what we will think will be our best team. "It'll be a grave disappointment to me and the club and the fans if he isn't able to play."
Achievement and pride
Meanwhile, Hodgson says he is delighted to have progressed so far in the competition despite their domestic campaign descending into mediocrity. The defeat to Hull sees Fulham lie 12th in the table with seven games remaining, and they have little hope of qualifying for the tournament next season. Fulham were expected to do very little following their surprise qualification last season, but have upset the odds to reach the final eight. The likes of European heavyweights Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus have been defeated in memorable fashion by the London club, with Hodgson backing his players to continue their adventure. "We have put the cup matches in the shop window," he said. "We feel a sense of achievement and pride that we have overcome so many obstacles to get this far. "Having overcome those obstacles, many of which were in the shape of very good teams, we have earned the right to believe in ourselves and to believe that, if luck continues to favour us, we can go even further." He added: "The hard work getting here has been all worthwhile. Then to get past the two clubs we beat to get to the quarters has given us that extra belief that we can achieve something in this cup."

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