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Jol reeling from Fulham Euro exit
Published : 15 Dec 2011 08:49:23
Martin Jol blamed a lack of experience and intelligence for Fulham's Europa League exit.
The Cottagers crashed out of Europe after substitute Djiby Fall secured Odense a 2-2 draw deep into stoppage time. Fulham squandered victory when Djiby Fall headed home, resulting in Wisla Krakow finishing second instead.
Jol said: "We were 2-1 up and then 30 seconds from the end we did not have the cleverness or experience to keep it in their half. It was when [Orlando] Sa had the ball on the break, 25 seconds from the end. Instead of going where the space was and keeping the ball there, he went for goal and then he lost it and they had the break."
He added: "I think it is a big blow for the club but every disadvantage has an advantage. There were positive things in the first half, like how much we put them under pressure and the players that made the difference, like [Kerim] Frei with a cross and a goal.
"In the second half our best players were probably almost worn out. They were tired. It is probably the 30th game for a few of them and that is not an excuse because we are a team that can defend a lead."
Jol admitted his players were "very disappointed" by the last-gasp blow, especially having dominated the first period.
The west Londoners' safe passage seemed all but secured at the interval after two goals in four first-half minutes.
Excellent work down the left flank by Kerim Frei resulted in a low cross to Bobby Zamora, whose lay-off was finished by Clint Dempsey. Four minutes later Mousa Dembele wriggled free and found Frei with a through ball, which the 18-year-old nonchalantly popped through Stefan Wessels' legs.
However, Fulham capitulated in the second period as Hans Henrik Andreasen's low free-kick and Fall's last-gasp header saw them drop out of the competition.