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FA Cup quarterfinal draw

FA Cup
By ESPN Staff

Hodgson asks fans to be patient with strike duo

Roy Hodgson has urged Fulham fans to be patient as they wait for the strike partnership of Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson to flourish.

The duo have scored only one goal between them since arriving at Craven Cottage over the summer and will start their fourth match together against Wigan on Wednesday night.

Much is expected from the forwards, who were assembled for a combined total of £16million, but Hodgson is not demanding instant results.

''Against Portsmouth on Saturday we saw evidence of good movement between the two of them,'' he said. ''Andy was unlucky to have his goal ruled out for offside. Had that gone in and we'd won the game, we'd be talking very differently.

''They're intelligent players who are aware of the movement that we expect from them. Everything has to be spot on with attacking - if the ball doesn't go in the net or force a good save from the keeper, then good moves pass unnoticed.

''They've only played three games together and we must remember we're only eight games into the season with a lot of new players at the club. I'm duty bound to plead for patience on their behalf. Certainly, I'm happy with the way they're working.

''I remain convinced we have two players who will provide us with a threat for the future in the same way Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe have gelled for Portsmouth.''

Hodgson has been reluctant to use his bench so far this season but made two telling changes in the 1-1 draw at Fratton Park.

Erik Nevland made an influential appearance while his fellow marksman Clint Dempsey salvaged the point with a late equaliser.

''They both did well against Portsmouth. Nevland and Dempsey have got quality. It was nice to see them combine for the goal,'' said Hodgson.

''It will be a long season. We've been lucky so far this season and had very few injuries. Being realistic, when the games pile up we'll need more than the 11 or 12 players we've been using so far.

''Because of that it's nice to have players like Dempsey and Nevland to call on.''


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