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By ESPN Staff

Hodgson warns AJ against badge kissing at Goodison

Roy Hodgson will reluctantly advise Andy Johnson not to kiss the badge when the Fulham striker returns to Goodison on Saturday.

England international Johnson will be making his first appearance against Everton since his £10.5million summer move to Craven Cottage.

Mindful of the repercussions from recent badge-kissing incidents by Wayne Rooney - at his Goodison Park stamping ground - and Joey Barton, Hodgson will speaking to Johnson in advance.

The Fulham boss admits he has little time for what he regards as a an unnecessary habit that has no relevance to the modern game.

''It would behove us to mention it to Andy but I'm a football coach. I talk to players about their roles to help the team win,'' he said. ''It's a sad state of affairs when you have to tell players not to kiss the badge, or don't do this or don't do that. Perhaps it will behove us to do that.

''I'm not a great fan of badge kissing. We're mercenaries in football, there's no question of that. The days of badge kissing at Fulham died with the likes of Johnny Haynes and Jimmy Hill. I'm surprised if fans want to see it.

''They're not stupid, they know that players come and go and change clubs. They also know that when a player changes clubs he gives his 100% allegiance all of the time he's playing for them. I expect every player Fulham to have nothing but the club in his head. He doesn't need to kiss the badge to show me that.''

Johnson opened his Fulham account in emphatic fashion when he fired both goals in Wednesday night's 2-0 stroll against an inept Wigan side.

Relief greeted the goals as the player who commanded the second highest transfer fee in Cottagers history got off the mark in his eighth appearance.

Johnson's unproductive strike partnership with fellow new arrival Bobby Zamora was being scrutinised before last night but Hodgson believes it is ready to blossom.

''As a centre forward the best thing you can do when you come to a new club as a big-money signing is to score on your debut,'' he said. ''Everything is hunky dory but that's not the way life is. Andy had to play a few games before he got them.

''We researched our centre forwards as best we could - we put a lot of time and thought into it. We looked at their profiles and the way the team was set up and decided on Zamora and Johnson.

''Over the 38 games we'll get a lot of joy from them - whether that comes at the beginning, middle or the end we'll wait and see. It would have been nice if it had come at the start the season, but it might be that we're interested in what happens at the end.''


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