Fulham boss hoping Bullard can keep them afloat

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Only three points now separate Fulham from Premier League safety after Jimmy Bullard’s late free-kick ensured a 2-1 victory for the Cottagers against Aston Villa. Will they now kick on and cling to their top-flight status? A lot depends on Sunday’s matchwinner, according to manager Roy Hodgson, with the Press Association reporting his pleasure at seeing Bullard and Brian McBride return to the fold following long-term injuries.

Hodgson said: “Jimmy played very well and he likes to be in that attacking midfield role. I think we can get more out of him in the offensive side of the game. I think he has got goals in him and he can also set them up.”

He added: “Full credit to Jimmy for taking the free-kick so well and scoring such a great goal. It was a goal that was worthy of the victory. We have to give Jimmy an enormous amount of credit and take our hats off to him and Brian McBride.

“Both had injuries that lesser players might have looked at and thought ‘This is going to take such a long time to come back from have I got the enthusiasm and strength of character to come back again and play at the highest level?’.

“Both of them set their stalls out to do that and both succeeded very well.”

The bookmakers still make Fulham odds-on to join Derby County in the Championship next season, and it’s clear that they’re still massively up against it to finish above three other teams in the Premier League.

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