STEPHEN KELLY EYES NEW DEAL

Defender Stephen Kelly will hold contract talks with Fulham next week.

Last Updated: 12/05/12 at 14:37 Post Comment

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Stephen Kelly: Enjoying life at Fulham

Stephen Kelly: Enjoying life at Fulham

Stephen Kelly will hold contract talks with Fulham next week confident he has done everything possible to earn a new deal from Martin Jol.

The Republic of Ireland international has established himself in the Fulham first team since Jol took charge, making 33 appearances so far and he is keen to stay at Craven Cottage.

Jol has put all contract discussions on hold until after Sunday's Barclays Premier League trip to Tottenham, when a victory would secure Fulham a club record 55 points.

"For myself it's just been a matter of performing at my best every game and I think I've done that. I've been able to show the Fulham fans here what I am about," Kelly told the Fulham website.

"It's been a big thing for me that Martin Jol has shown confidence in me this season.

"Before it was stop and start, and I was only playing every couple of weeks, which made it difficult.

"But since I've been playing consistently I've really been able to show my character, and the type of player I am, and really bed myself into the team.

"That's been fantastic this season so hopefully I will carry that on for as long as I can."

Jol will also hold talks with free agent Danny Murphy next week and he is anxious to tie striker Pavel Pogrebnyak to a long-term deal.

The Russian striker made an immediate impact following his arrival in January, scoring five goals in his first three games.

But Andy Johnson's future at the club looks less certain, with Jol looking to trim his squad down, while Bjorn Helge Riise is set to leave.

Jol revealed the club had received no bids for Clint Dempsey or Mousa Dembele - and he made it clear none would be welcome as Fulham look to strengthen for next season.

"There are no clubs who have come in for bids. Even if they put a bid in they are not for sale," Jol said.

"Of course you worry because I want to keep my best players. If we can do that and add two or three, we could have a very good squad.

"I feel they still will be here (next season)."

Dempsey is out of Sunday's game with a groin injury while Alex Kacaniklic is a doubt after suffering a hamstring problem in training on Friday.

Jol will be making his first return to White Hart Lane since he was sacked in October 2007, months after guiding Spurs to their highest league finish since 1900.

Jol was axed because he had failed to deliver Champions League football by the narrowest of margins - a defeat to West Ham on the final weekend allowed Arsenal to leapfrog them into fourth place.

If Jol's Fulham win at White Hart Lane then Spurs could again miss out on Champions League qualification.

"I feel Spurs need to play in the Champions League," Jol said.

"You can't blame me for wanting the three points to get to 55 points."

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