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FRIENDLIES A REAL SUCCESS

Posted on 12 August 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol happily reflected on another unbeaten pre-season schedule after Saturday's 2-1 success against Real Sociedad.

Martin Jol happily reflected on another unbeaten pre-season schedule after Saturday's 2-1 success against Real Sociedad.

The victory thanks to goals from Jermain Defoe and Michael Dawson - his first for us - made it seven wins and a draw this summer and took our tally to 16 friendlies unbeaten under Martin Jol.

That run started in Mauritius in May 2005, continued with seven last summer including our Peace Cup triumph in South Korea and now Bordeaux, Nice, Celta Vigo, Birmingham, Stevenage, Inter Milan and Real Sociedad have been beaten this time around, with one draw against Borussia Dortmund.

"Last season we did well, didn't lose a game and this summer has been the same," said boss Martin at the Lane. "It couldn't have gone much better.

"It doesn't mean anything in terms of results in pre-season but it's always a good sign if you can win games, especially with a lot of players and we've used a lot of players in pre-season. A few players completed their second 90-minute games as well, so that was good."

Jermain struck a sweet opening goal after 27 minutes but just when it looked like we might get on top - Jermaine Jenas hit the crossbar - Real Sociedad hit back out of the blue via Garikoitz Uranga's curler.

With Aaron Lennon zipping around everywhere, Daws celebrated his England call by slamming home what turned out to be the winner just after the hour mark.

Martin added: "Jermain is looking sharp and scoring goals and that's what we want from him.

"I was happy with Aaron Lennon playing in two roles - on the right and in the hole - and that was something I liked.

"Robbie Keane wasn't available to play in that role and we missed five players with Ledley King, Teemu Tainio, Andy Reid and Wayne Routledge out as well.

"We have to work on one or two things but quality-wise I think we're getting there and we showed again that we can win games using the full squad."