Fulham boss Hodgson happy with winter market budget

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson admits he has a healthy winter market budget.

"The chairman is very supportive. He wants the club to stay in the Premiership," he said. "He's spent a lot of money already and one can't be expected to spend limitless sums of money on a football club, even if they are wealthy.

"But Mr Al Fayed has spent the money because of his love of the club and he will do so again.

"We're trying to be reasonably realistic in setting our targets for the transfer window. I'm sure that if we succeed in being able to attract those targets, the chairman won't stand in the way of getting them.

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"He will not be saying 'it's a good idea to sign that player, but I'm not making the funds available'. The chairman is anxious that we do as much as we can to put things right. We don't have a limitation in that we can only spend a certain amount of money or sign a certain number of players. It's up to our judgement."

Hodgson has created profiles of the players he wants and having identified the right targets, managing director David McNally takes over the negotiations.

Nationality is not an issue for Hodgson - his predecessor Lawrie Sanchez insisted on signing British players or overseas imports with experience of English football - but height will be a telling factor.

"The imbalance in the team comes from the lack of size. A lot of our players are of a similar size and not very big, so stature will be a factor for us," he said.

"But if we are to buy new players they must be quality who will make us a better team, not just make us bigger."

Al Fayed convinced Hodgson to take the Fulham job and the 60-year-old former Inter Milan coach hopes he will be equally successful in luring the players he wants to Craven Cottage.

"Mr Al Fayed is a very persuasive man. He's not an easy man to turn down when he's decided he wants something," he said. "I don't regret my decision to come here and if I identified a player who had some doubts about joining Fulham I'd be working hard to persuade him this is a great place to be.

"We're working hard to become a better team and we have a bright future, as long as we can stay in the Premiership."

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