Hodgson: Fulham will take inspiration from Sir Bobby Robson in Cup final
Published 22:45 11/05/10 By Darren Lewis in Hamburg
Roy Hodgson revealed Sir Bobby Robson will be his inspiration as Fulham bid for an historic Europa League Final win tonight.
Sir Bobby - Fulham boss in 1968 - was the last English manager to win a European trophy, the Cup Winners Cup with Barcelona 13 years ago.
The success came in the same year that Hodgson's Inter Milan side lost the UEFA Cup Final to Schalke on penalties.
The Fulham coach has now vowed to do everything in his power to beat favourites Atletico Madrid tonight and go down in history alongside his former friend.
Hodgson said: "To follow a manager like Bobby Robson would be fantastic because as you know, we were friends for many years. He was a great man, a great manager and it would be very nice to think I could follow him."
Howard Kendall was the last English manager to actually win a European trophy with an English team.
Hodgson added: "That's because the best English teams don't have English managers and the best foreign teams don't have English managers.
"Therefore you're looking for an English manager to win a trophy with an unfancied team. Bobby Robson won silverware with Barca and has been in a few finals .
"If you want to win a title at this level, especially the Champions League, if you're really serious - and I wish to finish my career with a major trophy in my bag - then you want to make sure you're working for one or two clubs.
"Because it's not very often that teams like ours get to the final."
Hodgson also insisted his achievement in reaching tonight's showpiece is greater than Inter's final 13 years ago.
The 62-year-old, whose men have seen off the likes of Roma, Juventus and holders Shakhtar Donetsk went on: "'This is a greater occasion in some ways because it's a one-off final.
"When you play a final home and away as I was in the old UEFA Cup, it isn't quite the same.
"I was very proud to get to that final but I'm even prouder in some ways to be here tomorrow with Fulham because we were much less fancied in the tournament than Inter were in 1997. Secondly we've had, I think, a tougher passage to the final.
"When I think back to the teams Inter eliminated along the way, with respect, they weren't the quality and big names that we've eliminated on the way to the final here.
"I'm hoping 12/13 years on, I'm a little bit more mature, a little bit more philosophical, a little bit stronger and able t take whatever comes my way. I'm hoping the bad memories of 1997 will be expunged by a good victory tomorrow evening.