Hodgson hails beaten cup heroes

Roy Hodgson paid tribute to the European adventure his Fulham players had taken the club on despite losing 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's Europa League Final.

There was to be no fairytale end to a ten-month European campaign which had seen the Cottagers take the prizes scalps of Juventus, Wolfsburg, Shakhtar Donetsk and Hamburg as they were beaten in extra-time by the Spanish side.

Diego Forlan and Simon Davies had traded goals in normal time before the Uruguayan former Manchester United striker broke Fulham hearts with a winner two minutes from the end of extra-time.

"It looked for all the world to be heading for penalties which is a bit of a lottery, but we would have been happy to take that lottery," said Hodgson.

"I thought we looked comfortable for long periods of the second half and extra-time.

"All through the season they have performed against the odds and pulled out performances.

"You can't be happy after any sort of defeat, even after extra time, but I don't have a word of criticism for the team.

"They have every reason to be very proud of the season and tonight even if they are not lifting the trophy."

Meanwhile, Hodgson has pledged his future to the Craven Cottage club despite being strongly linked with any potential managerial vacancy at Liverpool in the summer.

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