Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Jol confident despite job pressure

Martin Jol is under pressure at Fulham
Martin Jol is under pressure at Fulham

The vultures continue to circle over Martin Jol but the Fulham manager remains confident of turning things around at Craven Cottage.

It has been a tough start to the campaign for the Dutchman, whose position has again come under scrutiny after defeats in the past week at Southampton and second-tier Leicester.

That losing streak could well be extended at Craven Cottage on Saturday, with reigning Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United heading to west London.

Jol's position is not understood to be under any immediate threat heading into the clash, but he is all too aware that the club need to start picking up positive results again.

"It is the same all over in the Premier League," the Dutchman said. "If you don't get the results, people will be critical.

"My boys will know they have to come out on the offensive, for them and for me as well, so they will give 100 per cent.

"Last week United were on 11 points and we were on 10 points, so that is not what you expect from a team like Man United.

"We saw all their games and against Real Sociedad, for example, they struggled to get a second goal.

"If you score only one goal, you are always under pressure and hopefully we can take the initiative.

"Of course we can't control the game for 90 minutes, but we will try to do something after the disastrous game against Southampton last week.

"We want to do better and I think we can do better."

United are hardly flying under David Moyes' tutorship, but the statistics are stacked against Fulham getting a result on Saturday.

The Whites have lost all five matches against the Red Devils during Jol's reign and they have managed just four wins from their 13 home league matches in 2013.

It is a strange turn of events for Fulham, a club previously known for their impressive form at Craven Cottage.

"I think we can make Craven Cottage a fortress again" Jol said.

"I think we can do that with the help of the supporters.

"It is a bit funny that we don't get the results at home. Over the last 10 years Fulham had few away wins and we already have two this season, so that is the only positive."

Fulham's hopes of getting back to winning ways this weekend will no doubt be dented by the continuing absence of Brede Hangeland.

The Whites captain is struggling with a nerve injury, although may well return for next weekend's trip to Liverpool.

There is no such light at the end of the tunnel for Hugo Rodallega, though.

The Colombian netted twice in Tuesday's 4-3 Capital One Cup defeat at Leicester, only to be forced off with an injury worse than first thought.

"We will make a good assessment next week when the blood is gone because it is still a bit blurry," Jol said.

"He tore an adductor so he will be out for a pretty long time.

"We don't have a timescale. He will be out at least for a couple of weeks, but it could be even longer because it looks worse than I thought it was."

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