Football

Europa bonus prepares Hangeland for Donetsk

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Brede Hangeland admits Fulham are in bonus land as they stand on the brink of the last 16 of the Europa League - but insists they can go all the way in the competition.

Roy Hodgson's side take a slender 2-1 lead to the Donbass Stadium following last week's first-leg win over Shakhtar Donetsk, and know avoiding defeat will set up a mouthwatering clash with Ajax or Juventus in the next round.

Defender Hangeland said: "We came into this competition as a bonus for doing well last year but we'd like to go as far as we can. It would be great to get through, but we are fully focused on this game and not what might happen after."

The Cottagers go into the game ahead courtesy of goals from Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora but Luiz Adriano's away goal gives Shakhtar, the 2009 UEFA Cup winners, something to cling on to.

"We are in the lead but we all saw at Craven Cottage what a good team they are," he added.

"We will have to play well, defend well and take our chances when they come.

"I was very impressed with them. They are quick, athletic, good on the ball. It's a different game to what we are used to in the Premier League.

Hodgson, predictably, has no intention of trying to hold out for a draw.

He said: "Playing for a draw is a difficult thing to do, you automatically give the initiative to the other team.

"I don't think it's in our nature or in our style of play to do that, surrender the initiative and try to shut up shop for 90 minutes. I think we want to play them, match them at least in their play and that means attacking well and defending well."

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Topics:
Europa League
Fulham
Football
Brede Hangeland

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