Jol: Team spirit key to beat drop

Martin Jol has called for his Fulham side to show spirit to consolidate their position clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

Last Updated: 07/02/13 at 15:37 Post Comment

Jol says team spirit will help Fulham beat the drop

Jol says team spirit will help Fulham beat the drop

Martin Jol has called for his Fulham side to show spirit to consolidate their position clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

The Cottagers play Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday, with the loser potentially dragged into the relegation mix.

"If you leave it until the end of the season you've always got a problem; you don't want that," Jol said.

"What I always say is get to 35, 36 points as soon as possible, before the last couple of months of the season.

"We need four, five wins, and 40 points is the focus and target for us.

"I have been in this business longer than most managers and abroad you can say the bottom three at winter are likely to go down.

"But in England there are always surprises."

Fulham have three wins in eight games in 2013, are 13th, level on points with the 14th-placed Canaries, and, on 28 points, seven clear of the relegation zone.

But Jol is wary of Premier League precedent, with Birmingham relegated in the season when they won the Carling Cup and Blackpool going down after challenging for Europe earlier in the same 2010-11 campaign.

"With the amount of points we've got now, you go down," the Dutchman added.

"You need fighting spirit in every game. This is the highest level and we want to get out of trouble as soon as possible, like seven, eight, nine other teams.

"You need very good spirit to do that and if you look at the other teams, they've certainly got that. If you look at the likes of Reading, winning games, Southampton, looking good, and, of course, Norwich are dragged into it.

"Everyone is still aware of the fact they need to win as soon as possible."

Fulham lost 1-0 to Manchester United last weekend in a match which descended into darkness for a short spell due to a floodlight failure. An investigation is ongoing.

Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov missed out against his former club with a hamstring problem and will undergo a fitness test to determine if he can play at Norwich.

"I think and hope that he will be in the squad," said Jol, for whom Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Kerim Frei (pelvis) are confirmed absentees.

"If not, Urby (Emanuelson) will probably start. In an ideal world, I don't think he will start."

Emanuelson was one of three deadline day arrivals after signing on loan from AC Milan.

Stanislav Manolev and Eyong Enoh are unavailable as they wait for their work permits, but Steve Sidwell (knee) and Kieran Richardson (calf) are available again, bringing much-needed Premier League experience.

"That is the most important thing for a club like ourselves, to have Premier League experience because if you don't you could end up with a problem," Jol added.

Key defender Brede Hangeland shrugged off an Achilles ache, which forced him off at half-time against United and required a scan, to travel with Norway in midweek, but Bryan Ruiz is still to return to London from international duty with Costa Rica.

"We had 12 players away on international duty and that is awful. Norwich had two or three so we have to consider that problem," Jol added.

Nothing has changed over Hangeland's future, with a contract extension offered to the captain, whose current deal expires at the end of the season.

"It's a status quo situation and hopefully he will change his mind and sign," Jol said.

Jol dismissed suggestions Fulham were interested in Louis Saha before the Frenchman signed for Lazio and is determined to hold on to Swedish midfielder Alexander Kacaniklic despite reported interest from Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine.

"The transfer window over there is still open but we won't let him go anyway," Jol said.

He also intends to retain the services of Sascha Riether, who is on a season-long loan from Cologne.

"We've got an option on him and I think we will take it so he will probably stay here," Jol said.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

European Qualifiers round-up: Holland and Italy held to draws

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's late header rescued a point for Holland against Turkey in European Qualifying, while Eder spared Italy's blushes in Bulgaria.

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey bullish over Belgium clash after 3-0 win in Israel

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey is confident of cementing top spot by upsetting Group B favourites Belgium in June.

Gareth Bale says he takes criticism of his form with a pinch of salt

Gareth Bale insists he has nothing to prove to anybody after playing a starring role in a vital victory for Wales.

Mail Box

Where's The Love For Walcott?

Theo Walcott is wanted by neither Arsenal or Liverpool fans in the afternoon Mailbox. Also, some good points on the FA skewed priorities, and glorious geekery...

Ripe Robin Still Has A Role To Play...

There is some support for the aging Robin van Perise in a frankly threadbare Mailbox. Also, more debate over homegrown players, with a suggestion of an import tax...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company