Jol confident despite job pressure
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."
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."
United manager David Moyes hopes momentum is starting to build behind his side but is not getting carried away by their improving form.
Moyes has had a mixed start to life at Old Trafford since succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer but there have been signs of recovery in recent weeks.
United have won their last three matches in all competitions and are unbeaten in six since a shock loss to West Brom at the end of September.
Moyes said: "We have started to pull together one or two half-decent results. Hopefully that starts to build a bit of momentum.
"We were a little bit up and down at the start of the season - winning one, losing one - so we are hoping to get more consistency and our form follows that.
"It has been good, the games we have won, but we have still got a bit to go. I don't think the dust is all settled down, not at all.
"We have still got more days where it might not go our way but I think the team is beginning to look a little bit better."
Moyes certainly feels he is now more attune with the players he inherited.
He said: "I am beginning to get to know them much better.
"I am beginning to see them and get an understanding of what they can do, what they are capable of.
"But in the same breath, we are still trying to find a side that gives us the consistency week in, week out and which we can say, 'Yes, this is the performance level we want to get'.
"In a lot of ways we are still striving to find that."
United head to Fulham eighth and trailing leaders Arsenal by eight points.
Moyes is not overly concerned by the gap - the champions face the Gunners next week - and believes his men can slowly pull their way back into the title race.
He said: "It is a gap we have to continue to work to get closer to.
"We try to take one game at a time, get a bit closer to the top end. That is the plan but there is a long way to go."
Experienced central defensive pair Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are in contention to feature in London but Danny Welbeck (knee) again misses out.