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Jol unfazed by poor start

20 Oct 2013 16:16:54

Jol unfazed by poor start

Fulham boss Martin Jol has offered encouraging words to his fans and those at Crystal Palace after both sides' poor start to the Barclays Premier League season.

The Cottagers are outside the relegation zone on goal difference only, while Ian Holloway's men have just four points from their first seven games.

Jol, however, believes early-season form is no indication of how a club will finish.

"Even when you're in the bottom three at Christmas it doesn't mean you will go down," he said, ahead of Monday's clash between the two teams at Selhurst Park.

"I remember Ian Holloway doing an unbelievable job at Blackpool. I think he was in the top eight at one stage four or five years ago and they still got relegated after Christmas.

"He played a different system, a very progressive 4-3-3 and he did it again with Crystal Palace. So I still feel that the man is doing a good job, but the results are not going for them.

"And hopefully Monday will be the same."

Of his own squad, Jol denied speculation morale is dipping in the dressing room.

"We've got a great team spirit, we've got new players in, I've got all these players, 80 per cent of the players are my players and the other players are here for at least two years, so there's no problem," he said.

"The only problem we have is we had an indifferent result against Cardiff, but Cardiff beat Manchester City as well. So they're all strong these teams.

"West Brom you know, we should have beaten them, they scored in the 93rd minute, they scored the equaliser and a week later they beat Man United away from home. I spoke to my friends and to other managers, and they all know that it's not easy to get results in the Premier League."

Scott Parker will make a welcome return to Fulham's midfield should he be fit, while Dimitar Berbatov is expected to line up having used the international break to get over the knock he picked up against Stoke.

But even with a stronger squad, Jol knows his side cannot travel to Selhurst Park believing the three points are guaranteed.

"They (Crystal Palace) need the points as well and it's the Barclays Premier League, so it will be difficult," he said.

"It's not easy to go away from home to play against these teams. But I think we've got the players and the quality to get the result."

Iranian international Ashkan Dejagah won't be rushed back in to the squad, though, despite playing more than an hour for his country against Thailand earlier in the week.

"I've got, as I said before, a few options on the flank, especially on that flank, so first he must be 100 per cent fit," Jol said.

"As soon as he's fit, and he wasn't until now because he had a big injury, then he'll be back in the squad."


PA

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