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Jol accentuates the positives
Published : 18 Jan 2013 14:08:00Rss feed
Martin Jol does not feel Fulham are suffering a dip in form despite having won just one Barclays Premier League game since Christmas.
Jol's side visit the Etihad Stadium on Saturday to take on champions Manchester City before facing leaders Manchester United twice in a week - either side of a home game against West Ham. The Cottagers head into the weekend 13th in the table, but Jol reckons the team are doing well and hopes they kick on in the new year - just as they did last season.
"We are still unbeaten in January," he said. "We have won two away games at West Brom and Blackpool and two draws against Blackpool and Wigan, so it is not alarming.
"The only thing is if you compare us with last season we had an unbelievable spell after Christmas and if the league had run for six months we would have finished in the top five.
"We would like to bring in one or two players in the next couple of weeks but if not I feel that we are strong enough to get points.
"We had 52 points last year but with different players. For example, Clint Dempsey was scoring all of our winning goals." The chance of Fulham picking up a good haul of points in the next fortnight looks slim, with an FA Cup fourth-round trip to Old Trafford also providing a stern test next weekend. The forthcoming fixtures have left Jol ruing recent results at Craven Cottage.
"I have said it before - it would be better to get the points against the Wigans of this world and Southampton, for example," he said. "We had two draws and that was disappointing because you can't expect a team like Fulham to rack up six points against United and City, but every point we get there would be a bonus so we will fight for all the points."
Jol also risked upsetting City supporters ahead of Saturday's meeting by claiming they were "a bit lucky" to win the title last term.
"I feel that they are in a similar position to what they were before - all of the top three clubs," the Dutchman said.
"They have to fight for everything and last year, of course, they were a bit lucky - (to win it) on the last day, in the final seconds.
"And maybe it could be the same (this season) because it was quite exciting. There is not a lot between teams like City and Manchester United.
"They are out of Europe but they can live with it and focus on the league now so that is one advantage they have got over United." Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola had long been linked with a move to the Premier League following his self-enforced year-long sabbatical, with City and Chelsea among the favourites to clinch his signature. However, Guardiola has decided his immediate future lies in the Bundesliga and he will take charge of Bayern Munich in the summer.
Jol spent a year in Germany as coach of Hamburg and can understand why Guardiola has chosen to move to Bavaria.
"Don't underestimate the German league," he said. "It is nearly the same and it will be one of the biggest in the next five years, for sure. Bayern Munich is an amazing club, a big club so I can understand his move there."
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