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Kacaniklic targets strong finish
Published : 02 Jan 2013 15:45:00
Alex Kacaniklic has challenged Fulham to re-establish themselves in the Premier League top ten and hailed the contribution of Dimitar Berbatov.
Kacaniklic helped Martin Jol's side to secure only their second win in 13 Premier League matches via a 2-1 triumph at West Brom with a cool second-half finish at the Hawthorns on New Years Day. But Berbatov was the Cottagers' man of the match, scoring the opening goal and continually tormenting Albion with his vision and skill on the ball. The Bulgarian has now netted seven times this season and appears to be benefiting from the regular football which he seldom achieved at Manchester United. Kacaniklic said: "Dimitar is always good. You can just tell, he's so comfortable on the ball, and he scored a goal as well.
"He's been at some of the top clubs in England and at international level too.
"You always learn from him every day in training and again in games.
"For me, he is a player who should be playing every week. "He is a class player and he should be playing every week with any team he's in."
Fulham had been sliding towards the relegation zone after a bright start to the season before winning in the Premier League for the first time at the Hawthorns at the seventh attempt.
"We needed a win. We've been unlucky with results for the past two months," Kacaniklic added.
"We needed to start the New Year well. "If you look at the squad, we have great players and we just haven't played as well as we can. Hopefully now we can get going again.
"For the first few games we were high up the table. But two wins out of the last 13 games is not good enough for us.
"We should be higher up than we are. We should get into that top 10."
Fulham boss Martin Jol praised the influence of Bryan Ruiz and knows the importance of having key players back available after injury. He said:
"We need five or six wins as soon as possible because all the managers of all these teams (around us) will worry because it is not a great position to be in. "But you saw at West Brom how influential Bryan Ruiz can be and he wasn't there for seven or eight games.
"Damien (Duff) hopefully will come back next week and (Mladen) Petric will come back. If we've got everybody on board, I think we are a good team, but, if not, then we struggle."
Baggies defender Billy Jones remains optimistic the midlands club can build on a successful first half to the season despite the setback against Martin Jol's side. He said:
"We have to remain positive, the position we're in is a good one, we just want to kick on from where we are.
"We want to get to 40 points and see how far we can go, To be honest, what gets talked about is reaching 40 points as soon as possible.
"But we can't take it for granted that we're going to have a great season from the position we're in at the moment.
"We'll have little blips, we've had back to back losses before then gone on to win games."