Jol wary of Lambert threat
Fulham manager Martin Jol believes that Sunday's opponents Southampton boast one of the best target men in England in Rickie Lambert. Saints have endured a tough start to life back in the top flight after a seven-year absence, with their only points coming in the recent 4-1 defeat of Aston Villa. Lambert netted twice in that victory and also scored against both Manchester sides in what has so far been an impressive start to his first season in the Premier League. Jol has been impressed by the 30-year-old's exploits and expects a tough challenge against the recently-promoted side at St Mary's tomorrow afternoon. "Rickie Lambert is probably one of the best target man we've got in England," the Fulham boss said. "He is very dangerous with crosses, especially at the far post. "If you see their line-up and if you are capable as a club of getting the likes of Gaston Ramirez then you're heading in the right direction. "I thought they were very unfortunate in two or three matches, even against Manchester City away from home. They should have quite a few more points. "They play with four players up front and if you talk about Ramirez, Adam Lallana and the like, they are all good players. "You saw that in the first 30 minutes against Everton and against Man City, for example. I think they've got the quality to survive in the league and to hurt you." Despite some impressive performances, Southampton's poor start to the season saw pressure begin to mount on manager Nigel Adkins. The former Scunthorpe boss led Saints to successive promotions from League One, but reports suggested former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez or - rather surprisingly - ex-Saints and Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp could replace him. "That is football, you know? You can do well and someone will say anything and then you get a different perception," Jol said. "You saw with Bobby Zamora. Everybody was happy here, we were hugging and then everybody thinks it is ok. "Nothing is what it seems in football and you will see in the next couple of weeks there will always be players telling you the spirit is great and it is the same with him. "He did ever so well, got them promotion and what more can you do as a manager? "Three weeks in it is about pressure and winning games and I feel he already knew that. I don't think it is news for him." Jol will be missing talisman Dimitar Berbatov for the trip to St Mary's due to injury and could also have to do without Mladen Petric, who picked up a calf complaint yesterday. Kieran Richardson does, though, return for a Fulham side boosted by Philippe Senderos, Pajtim Kasami, Kerim Frei and Ashkan Dejagah stepping up their return to fitness last night. The quartet played in Fulham 3-1 with rivals Chelsea in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League, which also saw Mickael Tavares play the full 90 minutes hours after signing a short-term deal with the Cottagers.
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