Jol satisfied after stalemate

29 July 2011 07:14
Fulham boss Martin Jol admitted he was disappointed not to beat RNK Split on Thursday but refuted suggestions that his players lacked effort.[LNB] The Cottagers endured a frustrating night in Croatia as they struggled to a goalless draw in the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying round tie.[LNB]After victories over Faroese minnows NSI Runavik and Northern Irish part-timers Crusaders, Fulham had been expected to secure another win at Dugopolje's Stadion Hrvatski Vitezovi.[LNB]However, Split proved dogged opponents throughout and Jol claimed a draw was a good result in the circumstances.[LNB]"I am satisfied with the result," said the Dutchman after the match.[LNB]"They played with three at the back and two wing-backs, which made it difficult to pressurise them.[LNB]"At the end of the day, we drew 0-0 away from home against a good side.[LNB]"I'm not happy with the result, but satisfied.[LNB]"There certainly was not a lack of effort from my players."[LNB]Despite naming a strong-looking side, Jol's team struggled to break down the resilient Croatian outfit - to the disappointment of 86 travelling fans.[LNB]Fulham were guilty of some poor passing and Split regularly found space down the flanks.[LNB]"They changed the formation, with three at the back," added Jol.[LNB]"Normally we put more pressure on the centre-backs but we had to drop off, which I don't like to do.[LNB]"But they had only three or four good chances, so that is the only thing we have to work on.[LNB]"We didn't do enough with the ball in their half and we have to do better."[LNB]Split manager Ivan Katalinic received a round of applause from the assembled journalists as he entered the post-match press conference and admitted it was a "surprise result".[LNB]The Reds proved the more dangerous force and had two gilt-edged chances to score, with Ante Erceg fluffing a one-on-one opportunity in the sixth minute before substitute Duje Cop missed an equally inviting chance in the dying minutes of the game.[LNB]Jol was impressed with the opponents, but backed his side to progress if they raise their game at Craven Cottage.[LNB]"I expect we will have more initiative in the second leg and we have to play better to score goals in their half," he said.[LNB]Fulham are likely to have United States international Clint Dempsey available for next week's clash, while Mousa Dembele could feature after a knee injury.

Source: Team_Talk