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Page last updated at 20:33 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 21:33 UK

Hodgson delighted by Fulham point

Roy Hodgson
Hodgson was delighted by his side's performance in Sofia

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson could barely hide his delight after watching his much-changed side earn a 1-1 draw at CSKA Sofia in the Europa League.

The Englishman made nine changes to his XI for the Group E opener and said: "That is a very positive result for us.

"It was a difficult game, as we knew it would be, against a good side who very rarely get beaten on their own patch.

"But you'd be nit-picking to criticise any of our players - and now I know any one of them can come in and do a job."

Diomansy Kamara got the Cottagers' crucial equaliser, three minutes after CSKA substitute Michel had broken the deadlock in a keenly-fought encounter.

The draw was achieved with a side that featured only two players - keeper David Stockdale and defender John Pantsil - that started the Premier League win over Everton on Sunday.

"We had a couple of injuries and I wanted to rest a few to give a few players a chance to show what they can do in a competitive match," said Hodgson. "The fact that we came away with a draw after so many good performances, I can't be anything other than delighted.


"We went behind to one of the match's first real chances - if you can call it that - but we showed the character to get back in it and equalise.

"We don't have to apologise for that because I think we deserved something out of the match. That only heightens my pleasure from the players' performance."

Asked whether this was a sign of things to come from Hodgson in the Europa League, with multiple changes from his regular Premier League teams, he said: "I wouldn't know right now.

"What I do know is that there will be quite a few of those guys who are sat at home for this who are now champing at the bit to get involved in these European games.

"We need to balance as best we can the number of matches that our players play."

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see also
CSKA Sofia 1-1 Fulham
17 Sep 09 |  Europe
Europa League as it happened
17 Sep 09 |  Football
Europa League photos
17 Sep 09 |  Europe

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