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Fulham V Norwich at Craven Cottage : Match Preview

17 Aug 2012 16:01:36

Fulham V Norwich at Craven Cottage : Match Preview

Jol furious with Liverpool Liverpool have "embarrassed" Fulham over their failure to follow up an inquiry for Clint Dempsey, an angry Martin Jol has claimed.  

The Whites boss confirmed that star forward Dempsey has told him that he wants to leave Craven Cottage for Liverpool, who have been keeping track of the player all summer. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers admitted last month that he was interested in signing the 29-year-old, but the Ulsterman has never lodged a bid for Dempsey, which has left Jol fuming.

"That was very disappointing," Jol told a press conference previewing the season opener with Norwich. "Clint told everyone he was going to Liverpool before he came back so we really thought there was quite a firm interest in him. "Even (Rodgers) told everyone he was interested in Clint Dempsey, but our people never had an offer. It's almost embarrassing. "If you have shown interest in a player, you have to follow it up with an offer."

Despite losing Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora to QPR over the last six months, Jol is now resigned to losing another one of his goal scorers in Dempsey. The United States international, who scored 23 goals in all competitions last season, has been training away from the rest of the Fulham squad after missing the club's pre-season training camp, and will not play in tomorrow's Barclays Premier League season-opener against Norwich at Craven Cottage.

Dempsey and Liverpool are in a strong bargaining position as the player only has 12 months left on his contract, but Jol insists the American will not leave unless a decent offer comes in for him. "We've got a chairman who's quite strong and if we get the right price we will sell him and if not he'll stay here," the Dutchman added. "I would like to keep him but I think it's impossible because he wants to move. "Clint told me he wants to go to a Champions League club.

"I'm not sure if Liverpool is in the Champions League but if you look at the size of Liverpool, it's like a Champions League club. "We'll have to wait and see what happens, but for us it's a sad situation and embarrassing." Meanwhile, Kerim Frei (pelvis), Philippe Senderos (foot) and Zdenek Grygera (knee) are unavailable for Jol.

Norwich manager Chris Hughton admits he owes a debt of gratitude to Martin Jol, but will go all out to beat his good friend at Craven Cottage. Hughton worked alongside Jol during his spell in charge at Tottenham from 2004 to 2007, before then stepping up into managerial roles with Newcastle and Birmingham before Norwich came calling earlier this summer after Paul Lambert left for Aston Villa.

The 53-year-old has nothing but respect for Jol, who had spells at Hamburg and Ajax before coming back to the Barclays Premier League with Fulham in June 2011 after Mark Hughes' departure, guiding the west London club to ninth place. However, that admiration will not stop Hughton aiming to get the Canaries off to a flying start and a first victory for his new club. "I had three enjoyable years with Martin at Tottenham, working closely with him," said Hughton.

"He was very successful, having two fifth-place finishes. "I have also learned a lot from him, so he has played a very good part in where I am in this moment. "You pick up about what it is to be a good manager. Martin is on the training pitch every day, tactically he is very good.

"He is great with the players, has high demands off them and wants to play the game in an attractive manner. "Martin is a winner and has been successful wherever he has been." With Paul Lambert's departure, Norwich - who finished 12th last season following their promotion - have found themselves the pundits' favourites for the drop.

Hughton, though, will pay little attention to the doom mongers, having yesterday added former Manchester City left-back Javier Garrido to the club on a season-long loan from Lazio to supplement the summer arrivals of Steven Whittaker, Jacob Butterfield, Robert Snodgrass and Michael Turner into the Norfolk club.

Fulham V Norwich - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.


PA

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