Jol wants focus on Fulham not Henry
Published 02/01/2012 | 08:12
Martin Jol maintains Fulham must not let the possibility of Thierry Henry sitting on the Arsenal bench distract them from the job in hand at Craven Cottage this evening.
The former Gunners captain could make a dramatic return to the Premier League should clearance come through ratifying his loan move from Major League Soccer club New York Red Bulls, but - no matter what squad Arsene Wenger is able to call upon - Cottagers boss Jol wants his men fully focused as they look to take the positives from Saturday's 1-1 draw at Norwich.
"For Arsenal fans it is fantastic. Henry is a legend. He could be sitting behind me and we will have to focus on the game. The last time we did well against Arsenal [drawing 1-1 at Emirates Stadium in November] and hopefully we can do the same," said Fulham manager Jol, who was in charge of the Gunners' arch rivals Tottenham from 2004 to 2007.
"(My team) played against him with Spurs and he was always making the difference as a player."
Whatever side Wenger puts out, Fulham know they will have to produce a strong defensive display to get another positive result.
Centre-half Brede Hangeland - a one-time target for the Gunners - is confident the Cottagers can deliver.
"We seem to play quite well against Arsenal both at home and away," Hangeland said. "Hopefully we can do the same again and we are looking to take three points because we're playing at the Cottage.
"There are signs that we will be even stronger over the second half of the season and we will be looking up the table now."
Fulham look set to again be without injured strike duo Bobby Zamora and Andrew Johnson against the Gunners, although winger Damien Duff could be in contention to start after returning to action with a 10-minute cameo at Carrow Road.
Portugal striker Orlando Sa netted an early goal as Fulham dominated the first half, before eventually sitting too deep cost them when Simeon Jackson headed in just seconds from the end of five minutes of stoppage time.