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Fulham boss Hodgson skips survival celebrations

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson was the calmest person at Fratton Park after their 1-0 victory over Portsmouth.

Danny Murphy headed home Fulham's winner which guaranteed them Premiership safety and Hodgson said: "It's not really an occasion for celebration although I'm delighted for everybody at the club.

"You used to have a glass of wine and smoke a cigar - before my wife stopped me smoking, that is - but that was also sometimes the case when you had lost as well.

"I think there might be a party planned but I think I might just stay in and watch Match of the Day.

"We are delighted with what we've done in the last few weeks even though we left it late and left ourselves a mountain to climb.

"But I am always aware that when we win somebody else has lost and I feel genuine sympathy for lads like Alex McLeish and Steve Coppell who have gone down with their clubs despite both also winning today.

"Some people will say we've been lucky but I just felt there might be something going for us if we needed it enough.

"We were always aware that only a win would suffice and I felt if we could stay in the game and not go behind to a very strong Portsmouth team there might be something for us in the last 15 to 20 minutes.

"Danny's header proved that correct and although I might have looked calm after he scored I can tell you that was not the case.

"I thought the last few minutes lasted half an hour and wouldn't want to go through that too many times."

Hodgson joked: "If you think I looked calm then I can only think it was the valium. I wanted the referee to blow the final whistle as soon as Danny had scored.

"Do we deserve to stay up? I think we do. I said from the day I arrived in December that we could do it - although in those circumstances you say a million things like that."

Hodgson's record at Fulham since replacing Lawrie Sanchez in December is six wins, five draws and nine defeats but the former manager of Inter Milan, Blackburn, Finland and Switzerland said: "If you want to call it my finest achievement I won't argue with that because that's what you will call it any way."

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