Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Jol hopes for Berbatov goal streak

Dimitar Berbatov celebrated with Martin Jol, centre, after scoring with a volley against Stoke

Fulham boss Martin Jol is hoping for a flood of goals from striker Dimitar Berbatov after his sublime volley delivered a 1-0 victory over Stoke at Craven Cottage.

In a game of few clear-cut chances it was Berbatov - with his ninth goal of the season - who made the difference with a well-executed finish in first-half stoppage time. Jonathan Walters missed a second-half penalty for the visitors, who had struggled to get into the game before the interval and are now only a point ahead of the Cottagers in the table.

Oh Fulham's goalscorer, Jol said: "Hopefully he will score other goals but we have other players. Mladen Petric has scored six goals without playing a lot so we have got more players who can make a difference but Dimitar certainly made a difference."

The ex-Ajax coach added: "Dimitar always scores between 15-25 goals and it would be silly to think he won't score 15-20 goals for us and that is what I always had in mind."

Berbatov rushed over to embrace Jol after smashing Fulham ahead and the manager was quick to point out it was the nature of the goal that led to the particular celebration.

When asked why Berbatov had run over to the touchline to celebrate, Jol said: "Because he scored from a volley and I told him a few months ago he doesn't score any volleys any more. He used to do that all the time, he tries to prove a point."

Jol felt his side had the better of the contest but was grateful for Mark Schwarzer's penalty save as Stoke went close to salvaging a point.

"Overall, if you saw the first half, we were the better team," Jol said. "It is always difficult against them and they changed their system and have all these big guys up front.

"It is not easy, it is not easy for us or a lot of other teams. We should have scored a second goal but we didn't and in the end they could have punished us for the fact that we only scored one goal, but Mark Schwarzer saved the day for us."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis admits his side are still not safe from relegation this season and felt the result at Fulham proves that every game is a difficult challenge. Pulis said. "I think everyone in the league who hasn't got 40 points will be (looking over their shoulders) that is the way it is. The league is a relentless league and every game is a tough game as we found out again."