Hodgson hails year in the sun

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Roy Hodgson rates his first 12 months in charge of Fulham as one of the best years of his long and distinguished managerial career.

Fulham marked the anniversary of Hodgson's appointment by snatching a 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Sunday to dent their local rivals' Barclays Premier League title bid.

Hodgson, who has managed Inter Milan on two occasions and guided Switzerland to the 1994 World Cup and Euro 96, said: "It's been one of the best managerial years of my career, if not the best. I'm immensely satisfied with what we've achieved in 2008."

Clint Dempsey put Fulham ahead after 10 minutes and then headed the equaliser in the final minute to cancel out two strikes from Chelsea captain Frank Lampard.

When Hodgson was appointed on December 28 last year, Fulham were languishing in the bottom three and in grave danger of relegation.

Not only did Fulham survive, but this season they have beaten Arsenal and taken points off both Liverpool and Chelsea to enter the new year in the top half of the table. Sunday's draw extended Fulham's unbeaten run to nine games.

He continued: "It was a remarkable achievement for the players to show the spirit and the character they showed to come back and keep the unbeaten run going.

"We didn't start the second half well and as a result of their good pressure they scored two goals. After we went 2-1 down we did find our feet again a little bit, we did play more football and as a result we were able to put their goal under more pressure."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Clint Dempsey

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