American backs Bradley for Cottagers job

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United States head coach Bob Bradley would be a perfect replacement for Roy Hodgson, according to Fulham striker Eddie Johnson.

Bradley is reportedly on a three-man shortlist for the post along with Switzerland's Ottmar Hitzfeld and former England and Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Eriksson appeared to distance himself from claims he was about to take the post yesterday when he revealed he was considering an offer to extend his contract as Ivory Coast head coach.

That could pave the way for Bradley, who guided the USA to the second round of the World Cup this summer.

Johnson has been a regular part of Bradley's squad since he took over in 2006, although he decided to omit the 26-year-old from his final 23 for the World Cup.

The striker, who signed for Fulham in 2008, believes there are a lot of similarities between the two managers, which would make Bradley an ideal candidate for the post at SW6.

"Bob could do a good job at Fulham," said Johnson.

"If you look at the statistics then it's plain to see that he has done a good job with the US. They did well in the World Cup, won their group and played really well and that's all down to him.

"He's a very similar manager to Roy. He plays attractive football but also organises his team in a defined shape that is hard to play against.

"They are similar in a lot of ways. The training sessions are very similar and their style on the pitch is.

"Bob was always keen to come over to Europe to see how the game was over there and he has been over to Fulham's training ground a couple of times and has seen how Roy coached Fulham. I think that made their styles similar."

Johnson marked his return from a season-long loan with Greek side FC Aris by scoring in Fulham's first pre-season friendly against Brentford last night.

The American, who spent the previous season on loan at Cardiff, has now set his sights on pushing for a first-team place although he faces tough competition from Bobby Zamora, Andy Johnson, David Elm, Diomansy Kamara and Zoltan Gera.

Johnson said: "Being on loan in Greece was good for me. It was a good league, a good standard.

"The target now is for me to get a first-team spot.

"If I'm scoring goals in pre-season in these games then it's good to get in the manager's head and it's good to put pressure on the manager. At the end of the day all I can do is control what I can control, keep playing well and make the manager's decision hard.

"I'm confident in myself. If I get a manager that believes in me here then, who knows, this could be the year here for me."

Johnson admits he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Clint Dempsey, who wrote himself into Fulham folklore by scoring the goal which sealed the Cottagers' 4-1 Europa League win over Juventus last season, arguably the club's most memorable victory in their 131-year history.

"The fans have always been loyal to the American players who have come here," Johnson said.

"It's tough for an American to come over here to do well and Clint has done that. He's one of the top players in the Premier League so I guess he does inspire me."


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

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