Zamora pleased to silence boo boys

BOBBY ZAMORA is glad to have finally proved a point to the Fulham fans who booed him at the start of the season.

The Fulham striker is enjoying his most successful season ever in the top flight, having found the target 15 times in 38 games.

His form is a far cry from last year’s goal drought which saw him almost leave Craven Cottage after scoring just four goals.

Zamora has struggled to win recognition from the Fulham faithful in the past.

He famously aimed a cupped-ear celebration towards the home fans after scoring the winner against Sunderland last December, a celebration which infuriated manager Roy Hodgson.

Zamora admits he is glad he has managed to win over his critics as he prepares to lead the Cottagers’ front line for tonight’s Europa League match with Juventus.

“I have silenced one or two that aimed criticism at me and it’s now all been swept under carpet,” the former Tottenham striker said.

“I have turned a few people and I suppose I have rubbed their noses in it a bit by scoring so it’s nice now to just go out, score goals and enjoy it.

“Now I’m just looking to continue to do well and score goals and try and push on with the club.”

Zamora will come up against World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro at Craven Cottage as Hodgson’s side look to overturn a 3-1 deficit to make it into the last eight of the competition.

Zamora was one of the few players to come away from the first leg with any credit and he is hopeful of getting the better of the 36-year-old, who has won 132 caps for his country.

“I thought I did well in the first leg against him to be honest,” said Zamora.

“I held it up well and one thing I noticed is that he didn’t like to be run down the channels.

“He’s getting a bit older now; he wants to fight, pull and push you, so I’m sure I’ll try to turn and push him the other way.”

Hodgson’s chances of overcoming Alberto Zaccheroni’s side have been boosted by the news that Juventus will be without their first and second-choice goalkeepers Gianluigi Buffon and Alex Manninger.

Veteran stopper Antonio Chimenti is likely to step in for the Bianconeri but Hodgson has to contend with selection problems of his own.

Captain Danny Murphy and fellow midfielder Jonathan Greening are suspended while Andy Johnson, John Pantsil (both knee) and David Elm (illness) are all injured.

Hodgson is relishing the opportunity of taking the Cottagers to a new high in their history.

“I think it’s fairly obvious that if we were able to knock out a team like Juventus it would be a massive achievement, especially given the circumstances that we are facing in that we are missing quite a few players,” the 62-year-old said.

“I’m sure that it would be a massive feather in Fulham’s cap.”

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