Hodgson hails "outstanding" Schwarzer

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Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has been hailed as the signing of the season and can rub salt in former club Middlesbrough's wounds on Saturday.

The 36-year-old left Boro on a Bosman last summer and while Gareth Southgate's men have been battling against relegation this season, Schwarzer has been playing his part in Fulham's push for Europe.

After more than a decade at the Riverside Stadium, Schwarzer makes his return this weekend and could plunge his former club closer to the relegation trap door.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is full of praise, saying: "We didn't buy him of course, he was a free transfer. So in that respect, if the transfer cost to Fulham was zero he must be the best signing of the season."

Hodgson's men are eighth in the Barclays Premier League and seventh should get them into the Europa League next season.

They have only conceded 28 league goals so far and Schwarzer has played a key role.

"He's been a major contributor to the success," Hodgson added.

"He's had an outstanding season, the goalkeeper we thought he was. His performances have been unbelievably consistent and the way he deals with shots and crosses has been very good.

"The stability he has brought to the team is something you can see in the confidence the back four have in him.

"Every team have units and our back four and goalkeeper have been very strong this year - Mark has been a major factor in that."

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Mark Schwarzer
Premier League
Gareth Southgate

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