Jol eager to keep Schwarzer

Martin Jol insists Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer can keep going for at least another two years in the top flight.

Last Updated: 31/03/13 at 14:28 Post Comment

Mark Schwarzer: Superb season at Fulham

Mark Schwarzer: Superb season at Fulham

Fulham manager Martin Jol insists goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer can keep going for at least another two years in the Barclays Premier League.

Schwarzer, 40, has been instrumental in Fulham securing a mid-table berth with eight matches remaining this season and Jol sees no reason why he cannot continue to do a first-rate job at Craven Cottage.

The form of the Australian veteran, who is set to go to Rio de Janeiro for the World Cup with his country next year, is the reason David Stockdale is on loan at npower Championship side Hull and Jol accepts that he might have to let the 27-year-old go permanently.

"David wants to be a number one," said Jol, whose side take on relegation-threatened QPR on Monday night in a west London derby which has huge significance, in particular, for Harry Redknapp's side.

"I'm always looking for a good goalkeeper. I've got another good goalkeeper who's 23, Neil Etheridge, and he's very talented but he needs to play.

"So maybe we will put him on loan. Stockdale is already on loan; so I have a problem. We need one or two goalkeepers. Hopefully we can get competition for places because that's the ideal."

Fulham's priority, however, is to sign up Schwarzer on a new contract which Jol hopes will extend beyond the 2014 World Cup.

Talks are currently in process and Jol said: "He (Schwarzer) can go on for the next one or two years but it's not like he is 22 and has another 10 years left in him.

"But how old are goalkeepers? If you look for evidence of them being 44-45, I can't see it. So 40 is quite remarkable.

"They (Australia) will go to the World Cup and he wants to be there. He will be 42 and then he will come back to us hopefully."

Meanwhile, Jol has been boosted by captain Brede Hangeland signing a new two-year contract.

The Norwegian central defender will have the task of nullifying the threat of former Fulham and England striker Bobby Zamora, who has been passed fit to face his old team-mates.

Zamora left Craven Cottage for Loftus Road in January 2012 but Jol has few regrets at losing a player with a dubious fitness record.

"Bobby wanted to move," said Jol. "He felt he could help QPR. Hopefully, after our game, he will help them. If he is fit he can help any team because he is a good striker.

"When he played he did ever so well but he missed 30 or 40 per cent of the games. If he was fit he was selected for the national team.

"He has got all the qualities, but when Bobby was not there we had a problem up front and that is why we changed it and now we have Bryan Ruiz and Hugo Rodallega and Dimitar Berbatov and most of the time they are fit to select.

"Don't forget Bobby wanted that move and at the time we had (Pavel) Pogrebnyak who scored six goals in five games, so everybody was happy. Bobby was happy with his move and we were happy with Pogrebnyak."

Jol believes Fulham, on 36 points, require two wins to guarantee survival and expects a fierce scrap with QPR, who lie second bottom and are fighting for their Premier League lives.

Jol said: "This is a home game, a derby game, they are desperate for three points and we can use them as well."


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