Hodgson full of respect for Wolfsburg

Fulham FC manager Roy Hodgson warned that while VfL Wolfsburg may lack the pedigree of Juventus they are no less dangerous, especially as they believe "English football could suit us".

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson ©Getty Images

Two sides that had never previously reached the last eight of major European competition will square off in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals after Fulham FC were paired with VfL Wolfsburg in Friday's draw.

After knocking out UEFA Cup holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 32 then Juventus in stunning fashion on Thursday, Roy Hodgson will not let his side lower their guard against less prestigious opposition. "They've done very well to get where they are, we've done very well to get where we are so it's a meeting of fairly similar clubs and I'm looking forward to it," he said. "German champions and Bundesliga teams can certainly cause problems and I think our fans our wise enough to put things in perspective."

Christian Gentner's strike in the last-minute of extra time against FC Rubin Kazan on Thursday earned Wolfsburg their place in the quarter-finals and the match-winner knows the challenge ahead is tougher still. "Fulham ousted Juventus in the previous round which shows their quality," he said. "English teams are always strong. It is a nice, but also very difficult task."

Coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner added: "This is a good draw. We will try everything to make it into the next round. I had tipped us to be drawn against Liverpool so I wasn't that far off. English football could suit us, but we will have to be at the top of our game."

Wolfsburg have already made one trip to England this season, losing 2-1 to Manchester United FC in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, and defender Marcel Schäfer is looking forward to returning. "This is a super draw," he said. "The atmosphere in English stadiums is always great. All eight teams left in competition are very good, so it doesn't really matter who we're up against. It's a big challenge, and we want to rise to it. Fulham are opponents we can overcome."