Jol: I can't defend Sidwell
Fulham manager Martin Jol believes players must be smarter if they are to avoid being sent off for poorly timed challenges.
Cottagers midfielder Steve Sidwell is set to miss the last four games of the Barclays Premier League season after being shown a straight red card by referee Andre Marriner when he cleaned out Arsenal's Mikel Arteta after 13 minutes on Saturday, in a match the hosts went on to lose 1-0.
Sidwell, 30, had only just been available again following suspension for a sliding lunge on QPR's Armand Traore. Jol feels players can avoid unnecessary dismissals if they just take a second to think before diving in, saying: "You see other players in the Premier League who are not used to the game."
The Dutch coach added: "That is the only thing you have to change - to stay on your feet, don't sell yourself then there is no problem. It is a physical sport, but I can't defend Steve.
"I still feel it was not intentional and in the spirit of the game 30 or 40 years ago they would have said not intentional, that it was a booking, but now - what can he do? They would say (to the referee) at the FA 'you should have red-carded him' and you won't get a match next week."
Fulham have been safe for a few weeks now, but not able to push on into the top 10 despite some promising displays.
However, Jol reckons the Cottagers should be proud of their achievements in what is a season of transition.
"Believe me, we were so happy to be on 40 points because we have had so many changes in personnel, and to build again, we had a different team," he said.
"Structurally you could say we are a top-10 side, but if you look at other teams, they spent a lot more, like Stoke and Aston Villa.
"So I am a happy man that we are 40 points. The only thing is last year we had the same and we picked up so many points in the last month."
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