- Fulham News
- News Archive
- League Table
- Premier League News
Fulham V Man Utd at Craven Cottage : Match Preview
Published : 21 Dec 2011 19:07:11
Fulham manager Martin Jol admits the regularity of reports regarding Bobby Zamora's future is becoming a concern.
There has been mounting speculation over recent weeks that the pair's relationship is fraught, leading to suggestions the England international could leave Craven Cottage in January.
Jol has constantly batted back such talk and was forced to once again after a report that Zamora was told to train with the reserves.
"No, there is no reserves yesterday (Monday) because we have a game today," Jol said. "We always train with a rest group (those not involved in the match against Bolton) so Aaron Hughes was there, [Pajtim] Kasami, [Marcel] Gecov. All the players who were not involved in the game.
"That is the normal thing to give theme extra loading. "I don't know what they are on about and it was not with the reserve team coaches. "There is no rift, Bobby is Bobby. "He was fine on Monday, he trained with all the players who didn't start. "Those 14 did a session to load them, and he was fine."
The speculation has seen Zamora linked with a host of Barclays Premier League clubs, including QPR, Tottenham and Sunderland. "I'm not concerned," Jol said. "For me it's not a big problem. "I'm only concerned that this sort of thing is coming up all the time.
"I don't know but for me there is no problem." Jol will be able to welcome Zamora back for the match against Manchester United, having missed Saturday's 2-0 defeat of Bolton with a medial ligament injury in his left knee. "We have always had that belief," Jol said of the Bolton victory.
"The only difference is we got the points and played well, scored a couple of goals and didn't concede. "Obviously United can punish you and sometimes they will. "Man United and Chelsea, for example, they have got the extra quality if you give them space.
"We allowed Bolton to have six or seven shots but you cannot allow the likes of Man United to do that. "I think every game stands on itself. Liverpool was good, Man City was nice but Man United is probably different. "You have to play to your strengths and that is what we will try to do and try to avoid them exploiting us with their quality.
"We had a 3-0 win and a 2-2 draw recently so we seem to do well against them. "I think it could be coincidence but it could be our style as well." While Zamora returns to face Sir Alex Ferguson's side, Steve Sidwell continues to miss out after a hernia operation and fellow midfielder Simon Davies has a back complaint.
Meanwhile, Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has admitted he would not be where he is today without the two years he spent at Fulham. Smalling will show no mercy towards his old club when United visit Craven Cottage hunting three more points in their quest to retain the title.
However, the 21-year-old will be greeting some old friends before and after kick-off. And, although he only made 14 senior appearances for the Cottagers, it was the period between being snapped up from non-league Maidstone to arriving at Manchester United in 2010 that turned him into an England international.
"Without [former Fulham boss] Roy Hodgson giving me my chance there I wouldn't be here," he said. "I had a big two years there and it is a time I look back upon fondly. "My first year was about finding my feet. The second was about showcasing what I can do.
"It'll be nice to go back and see a few of the players and play back at the Cottage."
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson needs to decide what changes to make for United's second trip to London in four days.
The surprise return of Javier Hernandez from an ankle injury at QPR offers Ferguson a further attacking option, which provides the opportunity to drop Wayne Rooney back into a midfield role.
Fulham V Man Utd - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.