Zola backs Hodgson after Hammers complaint

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West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola believes Fulham boss Roy Hodgson did "the right thing" by fielding a weakened team against Hull.

The Premier League confirmed on Friday that they have received an official complaint from the relegation-threatened Hammers about Hodgson's decision to rest five key players for a match which Hull won 2-0. But Zola was not aware that the complaint would be lodged, and his verdict on Hodgson's team selection appears to conflict with the viewpoint expressed by West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan.

When asked for his reaction to the complaint being lodged, Zola said: "I just heard about that. I didn't know it was happening. As far as I'm concerned a manager can play his best team. I have no doubts that Roy Hodgson is doing the best for his team."

Zola added: "He's a person I respect for his loyalty and I have no complaints with that.

"He decided to do that and I'm sure he has done the right thing for his club. Plus, from what I read in the reports Fulham weren't that bad, so I have no problems with that."

Premier League rules state that all teams must field their strongest side available for all games.

Should the league uphold the complaint, Fulham could find themselves being hit with a similar penalty to the suspended £25,000 fine handed to Wolves after Mick McCarthy rested nine players for his side's trip to Manchester United earlier this season.

Hodgson insisted on Thursday night that he had done nothing wrong and was adamant that he would continue his rotation policy for this weekend's match against Wigan.

"Firstly I don't think West Ham should be picking our team and I think that is a fairly obvious statement," said 62-year-old Hodgson.

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

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Premier League
Manchester United
Wigan Athletic
Gianfranco Zola
West Ham United
Hull City
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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