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Last Updated: Monday, 31 December 2007, 16:06 GMT
Fulham can survive, says Hodgson
Roy Hodgson
Hodgson resigned as Finland coach earlier this month
New boss Roy Hodgson is optimistic he can haul Fulham out of the relegation zone as he returns to the Premier League after nearly a decade away.

The 60-year-old Englishman, who quit as Finland coach earlier this month, was unveiled by the London club on Monday.

His only Premier League experience came with Blackburn almost 10 years ago.

"I'm fully prepared," he said. "It may be 10 years since I worked here but I haven't been working at a low level with no pressure. Quite the opposite."

He added: "I bring experience - a knowledge of European football, of international football, and I would like to think I bring coaching ability and man-management skills that have been honed in the work I've done with Uefa and Fifa."

606: DEBATE
Pranav Soneji - BBC Sport

Hodgson replaces Lawrie Sanchez, who was sacked on 21 December, but changes to the backroom staff are minimal, with caretaker coach Ray Lewington remaining as an assistant.

Mike Kelly, who worked with Hodgson in Switzerland, comes in as both an assistant and goalkeeping coach.

Among the teams Hodgson has previously managed are Inter Milan, Blackburn, the Swiss and Finnish national teams, Malmo, Grasshoppers and Bristol City, and he has also served as a member of Uefa and Fifa technical study groups.

Hodgson said he faced a "major challenge" at Fulham but added he would give the current squad a chance to redeem themselves.

"It's important we work hard first of all with the group of players that we've got here," he said.

"Like anybody else, of course the transfer window is an important time of the year and if the right type of players come along, I know that I have the support of the board and the chairman to move into that market.

"At the moment my focus is clearly on Chelsea on Tuesday, then after that it will be on making certain we work with the team and try and improve our play on the field.

I'm very optimistic that we will meet the chairman's requirements

Roy Hodgson

"While that is going on we will also be aware of players' availability and if there are any that would make us better then I hope we can go and sign them."

Hodgson said he had "no idea" about his transfer budget, adding: "My discussion with the board of directors and the chairman was all about how we are going to improve the current situation.

"We didn't have any detailed discussions about transfer kitties of what money would or would not be available.

"I was told they believe I'm the right man to do the job and they will support me, and that was good enough for me at the time."

And despite just two wins in 20 games so far this season, he is not about to panic over the club's predicament.

"Of course, like anyone else at Fulham Football Club, I view with horror the scenario where we don't succeed and we don't keep the club in the Premiership," he said.

"But at the moment I have no reason to fear that, I see the future as being very bright and I'm very optimistic that we will meet the chairman's requirements, that we will live up to expectations."

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29 Dec 07 |  Premier League


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