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HAPPY JOL

Posted on 22 October 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol paid tribute to the character of the players after beating West Ham with just one full day of preparation time following the UEFA Cup win in Turkey.

Martin Jol paid tribute to the character of the players after beating West Ham with just one full day of preparation time following the UEFA Cup win in Turkey.

The squad touched back down on UK soil on Friday afternoon having toppled Besiktas 2-0 in Istanbul on Thursday night, leaving just Saturday to prepare for Sunday's keenly-contested Premiership derby.

Danny Murphy, Robbie Keane and Hossam Ghaly were on the bench in a reshuffle with Thursday night's hero Dimitar Berbatov rested.

In the end it was two of the replacements - Edgar Davids and Mido - who combined for the winner with Mido superbly volleying home off the post in added time in the first half.

That made it five games unbeaten and Martin was naturally delighted afterwards. "It was a great result because it's always difficult coming back from Europe and playing in games like this," he said.

"West Ham had a lot of good intentions. They scored a late equaliser against us here last season and then won the home game, so we were really up for it. We wanted to win.

"Having said that it's not easy because we came back from Turkey on Friday, had a day to recover and then played again on Sunday. We've done it a couple of times now and we've won again, so that's very satisfying.

"We knew we wanted this result but you only have that one day to prepare, to look at the videos and the analysis of individual players and it's not easy. We worked hard, the concentration was 100 per cent and they enjoyed it, so that's important.

"They showed great character, commitment and it's not just after European games, it's after internationals as well."