Charlie Adam scored the only goal of the game but Stoke could and should have been out of sight, a host of chances going begging.
That set up a tense finale at the Britannia, but Fulham - much improved after a dreadful first half - could not find a way through.
Jol admitted Stoke's style of play was hard to deal with.
"In the second half we did better - in the first half it was exactly the same as it is for most of the teams here, and probably how it was for us last year," Jol said.
"We couldn't get out of our half. We still wanted to play, but it was difficult and then you get the long balls and they close you down, pressurise you, play their style.
"It was not easy for us - we play a different style."