Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Jol desperate to retain Schwarzer

Mark Schwarzer has been in impressive form for Fulham this season
Mark Schwarzer has been in impressive form for Fulham this season

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

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."

He added: "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."

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