Roy - Hughes blow was crucial

11 March 2009 11:30
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson thought the loss of defender Aaron Hughes proved the undoing of his side as they went down 2-1 to Blackburn.[LNB] Former Newcastle defender Hughes was forced off with an injury after 77 minutes to be replaced by the inexperienced full-back Toni Kallio and it was the substitute who was out-muscled by Jason Roberts for Rovers' winner.[LNB]And Hodgson felt that change led Fulham to concede the late winner.[LNB]"We were unlucky to lose Aaron Hughes in the last 15-20 minutes," he said. "It wasn't easy for Tony Kallio, who is not a natural centre back, to come in - we've got (Chris) Baird out injured and he would have been the ideal man in that kind of situation - and of course Kallio got rolled for the goal.[LNB]"We would have liked to have thought we would have got at least one point from the game."[LNB]No excusesHowever, Hodgson made few excuses and thought his former club deserved their victory.[LNB]"I've got to say I thought Blackburn played with a lot of energy. We were struggling to match that energy," he added.[LNB]"There have been a lot of games for us recently and players are beginning to look tired.[LNB]"They've played the long-ball game very well and forced us back.[LNB]"I can't say they didn't deserve to win the game, I can't say that we did enough to win it. We lacked a bit of energy but the lads put up a brave performance.[LNB]"We simply met a Blackburn team with more energy than us, more strength than us and as a result they were able to get the three points which were so vital for them. We'll just have to wait for ours."[LNB]

Source: SKY_Sports