Smertin appeal to Cottagers

11 July 2008 04:47
Veteran Fulham midfielder Alexei Smertin has appealed to manager Roy Hodgson to give him a first-team chance this season. The 33-year-old former Russia international managed just five appearances for the Cottagers following Hodgson's arrival in the managerial hot-seat in January. The former Chelsea and Portsmouth midfielder was troubled by a succession of injuries last term, but is hoping to prove he deserves a more important role in the side ahead of the coming season, "At first it was going well but then I was forced to be sidelined through injury troubles while my club was one step from relegation," he said. "I am 33 years old already and I am full with ambitions. The coaches in the club come and go, but I don't want to sit on the bench all the time. "I am still one of the best at training and examinations showed that I am much younger than in reality." Meanwhile, Smertin has suggested another season on the sidelines at Craven Cottage could lead to his departure from the club. "My contract with Fulham will terminate in a year and I don't know what I will do next," he admitted.

Source: ESA