Hodgson denies fielding a weakened team

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Roy Hodgson has blasted West Ham's claims that he broke Barclays Premier League rules by fielding a weakened team for last week's defeat at Hull.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has reportedly confirmed that the relegation-threatened club will make a complaint to the Premier League about Hodgson's admission that he fielded a weakened side in the 2-0 loss at the KC Stadium - a result which brought Hull level with the Hammers on 27 points. He will argue that Fulham deserve to be punished in a similar fashion to Wolves, who were hit with a suspended £25,000 fine for fielding a weakened side in their defeat at Manchester United.

Thursday night's 2-1 Europa League quarter final first leg win over Wolfsburg was Fulham's 52nd match of the season and Hodgson said: "Firstly I don't think West Ham should be picking our team and I think that is a fairly obvious statement."

He added: "If there is a complaint but my conscience is perfectly clear on the subject and as far as I'm concerned we don't have a case to answer.

"In the last game I selected a team comprising of a defender just sold for £10m (Chris Smalling), a South African international (Kagisho Dikgacoi), who replaced Danny Murphy and I replaced Bobby Zamora with Clint Dempsey, a USA centre forward.

"I can't understand why, if you have a large squad, it's not allowed for you to change things around. I can't imagine anyone questioning Liverpool, Manchester United or Chelsea for using all the players in their squad."

Zamora's 18th goal of the season gave Fulham the lead before he set up Damien Duff to put the Cottagers 2-0 ahead.

Alexander Madlung's last-minute header ensured the Bundesliga champions came away from Craven Cottage with a vital away goal to set up a nail-biting encounter in Wolfsburg next week.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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