Despite all the transfer madness that is currently engulfing Fulham, and most of the country for that matter, there will still be a game to play on Wednesday night as Roy Hodgson makes his first visit to the Cottage since departing in the Summer of 2010. I spoke with West Bromwich Albion fan, Steven Beech, to get some insider information on just how Roy is fairing at the Hawthorns.1. Your league form has been indifferent, but you do find yourselves 7 points clear of the drop zone. Are you happy with where you are and would you gladly finish the season there?
If you find that you're in a position where you are 7 points clear of the drop zone at any point of the season with our resources, you have to be satisfied. However, 17 of our 25 points have come on the road so it makes you wonder just where we could have been, had we managed to sort out our quite shocking home form.
2. We've been linked with Peter Odemwingie throughout this transfer window. Do you rate him highly at the Hawthorns or would you take an offer at the right amount?
Peter was fantastic for us last season, his goals alone kept us in the Barclays Premier League. He was the new cult hero and everything was going fine with 15 goals to his name. However, it is well known that he and Roy Hodgson do not see eye to eye. This, plus a number of injuries since the summer have really knocked Peter and he does not seem to fit into Roy Hodgson's system very well at all. If the right offer came along, I am sure the club would consider it.
3. In which areas do you think you need to improve before the end of the window?
The left-back area has been highlighted, maybe Liam Ridgewell of Birmingham City will have signed for us by the time the game is played at Craven Cottage. We have also tried to fill the void left by Zoltan Gera, who is out for the season with a knee injury. Chris Brunt is also a long-term absentee. Fellow Hungarian of Gera, Szabolcs Hustzi, was in the Midlands late last week but the club deemed he was not fit enough after a medical, he has missed a lot of football with Zenit due to injuries of late. A striker is also on the wish list, yet time of course is running out.
4. Who would you say are your strongest assets?
James Morrison has been superb this season and he is one of our more experienced players at this level. Jerome Thomas is key to the system that we play, Shane Long has done well so far since joining from Reading in the summer but is currently struggling with a back injury.
5. Obviously, we all love a bit of Roy Hodgson here at Fulham. Are you enjoying life under his reign or is there a better candidate out there?
Roy Hodgson was a revelation when he joined last February after we parted company with Roberto Di Matteo, guiding us to our highest ever Premier League finish of 11th. The goals were flowing, he managed to stop the flow at the other end and we watched some brilliant football along the way. All in all, we are enjoying his reign, we just need to consolidate now so we have have a crack at a third consecutive season.
6. Would you say Hodgson is too tactically defensive, or is it a good base with which you can build momentum?
Certainly at home this season, I have been very disappointed, like many other supporters of the club. Only two wins and two draws so far, along with seven defeats. It does not take a brain surgeon to work out that is unacceptable. Luckily, we have won five and drawn two away from home which has kind of taken the emphasis away from how bad our home form actually is to a degree. He is a defence minded manager, for sure. We need to start taking games to the opposition at home, undoubtedly.
7. Are there any players from the Fulham squad that you would happily take on?
There are a few I would personally take. I have always been an admirer of Andy Johnson, Chris Baird too. Having said that, I think there is a case of realism in those names. Of course I would like Dempsey and Zamora, but our wage structure will not allow for that!.......
8. What do you think the score will be on Wednesday evening?
Craven Cottage has always been a difficult place to play, we never do well here at all. Having said that, this year we have been very god on the road and taken wind at Villa Park and the Britannia Stadium along the way. I will sit on the fence and say a draw, 1-1.