Byline: David Smith
AS Fulham prepare for the biggest game in the club's 131-year history, owner Mohamed Fayed today hailed Roy Hodgson as a "maestro" and insisted his manager's future lies at Craven Cottage despite attempts by rivals to lure him away.
It is little wonder that Fayed is such a fan of Hodgson. The 62-year-old has worked a miracle at Fulham, transforming the west London team from Premier League relegation candidates into shock contenders for one of European football's major honours. Following a goalless draw in Hamburg last week, achieved by the kind of disciplined and resolute performance that has become the hallmark of Hodgson's reign, Fulham can tonight reach the climax of the Europa League by winning the second leg of their semi-final at the Cottage.
And Hamburg, who are former winners of the European Cup which became the Champions League but are now in a state of disarray after manager Bruno Labbadia was sacked on Monday, should hold no fears for a Fulham side that have already beaten UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk, …