Jol: January signings not key

Martin Jol insisted Fulham did not need to spend their way out of trouble after the 2-1 defeat by Swansea.

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Martin Jol: Won't overpay in January

Martin Jol: Won't overpay in January

Martin Jol insisted Fulham did not need to spend their way out of trouble after watching them crash to another defeat that sucked them ever closer to the Barclays Premier League drop zone.

Saturday's 2-1 loss to Swansea extended the Cottagers' miserable run to one win in 12 and left them just four points above the bottom three.

Fulham are beginning to look in dire need of reinforcements, but while Jol will try to dip into the transfer market when the window reopens on Tuesday, he is confident the return of injured players would be the real catalyst for a revival.

Bryan Ruiz certainly showed how much the Cottagers had missed him on Saturday with a man-of-the-match performance in his first start for six weeks.

And Jol was hoping the imminent recovery of Mahamadou Diarra, Mladen Petric and Damien Duff would have the same effect.

"If players come back from injury, I think that will freshen up the squad as well," said the Dutchman, who admitted the trio were unlikely to return for Tuesday's New Year's Day trip to West Brom.

"If we can do something in the market, we will try to that. But it's not easy. You know as well as I do that clubs will wait and wait until you have to pay the maximum price and we will not do that."

Jol said of former Real Madrid midfielder Diarra, who has been plagued by injury this season: "I think he needs another four or five days. Damien Duff is the same. Hopefully, he could play against West Brom, but I'm not certain.

"And Petric is the same. He will be back probably next week."

Jol was hopeful goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer would return from a neck injury on Tuesday after watching understudy David Stockdale gift Swansea their victory with two howlers on his first Premier League start for almost 11 months.

Like Jol, defender Sascha Riether refused to panic over Fulham's slump and even urged his team-mates to ignore the table, which sees the club in 14th place.

"We shouldn't look at the table," said the 29-year-old, who may end up credited with his side's goal on Saturday after getting the final touch on Ruiz's shot.

"We must concentrate on our games and, if we play like today, we will win the next game."

He added: "The beginning of the season was okay. The first 10 games were okay. It's a long season in football and it all can happen.

"At the moment, we have a lot of negative things but we are working every day very hard, so I hope on Tuesday we will have a better result."

"I wish that we don't play so well and we score. That would be better."

Swansea proved they could not only win without 14-goal top scorer Michu but could do so resting six other players.

Manager Michael Laudrup revealed he did so not just because of the festive fixture schedule, but also because his side will play at least seven times in January.

He said: "We'll have a lot of games, so that's why it's important to have more people fresh and more people with match fitness, so you always can use them.

"On Tuesday, it's the first.

"Again, we play Sunday, (January) 6 against Arsenal, on Wednesday against Chelsea and on Saturday against Everton away. What a three games in six days we have there.

"So, it's not only about Christmas and new year. It continues on until mid-February and then it slows down again."

One player to benefit both from Michu's ankle injury, which could also keep him out on Tuesday, is Danny Graham.

Last season's top scorer marked his recall yesterday with his first league goal for more than four months.

Laudrup hinted Graham may be allowed to leave if he was unhappy with his lot.

He said: "There maybe players who say, 'No, I would like to play more and try to find a solution', and then we'll do that."


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