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JOL ON FULHAM

Posted on 29 January 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol is hoping to banish the memories of last season's visit to Craven Cottage when we return to the venue for Tuesday evening's televised encounter with Fulham.

Martin Jol is hoping to banish the memories of last season's visit to Craven Cottage when we return to the venue for Tuesday evening's televised encounter with Fulham.

Our last visit to SW6 came on October 30 2004 and the performance was not one which would stick in the mind for the right reasons. A goal in each half from Luis Boa Morte and Andy Cole proved the difference in terms of the scoreline, but it certainly could have been greater.

It was a third Premiership defeat in a row and turned out to be Jacques Santini's last game in charge of the team. Martin Jol officially took up the reigns ahead of the Arsenal game two weeks later and the Head Coach well remembers the display against Chris Coleman's side, but rightly points out the team have enjoyed a great improvement since.

"They beat us and it was an awful game that finished 2-0 to them," he recalled. "Since then I think we have improved and our away form has got better. Although they are pretty strong at home - you can consider them a team who are very good at home - having played 11, won seven, drawn two and lost two. They are almost as strong as we are at home."

Martin went along with the thinking that this games carries good possibilities of being an attractive fixture.

"Could be, they score a lot of goals and are an attacking team.

We have seen them, for example, against West Ham away where they didn't do so well in the first half but then took the game to West Ham in the second and did much better.

"They have good players up front, Helguson is pairing with McBride up front, with Malbranque on the right and Boa Morte on the left - so attacking-wise they are a pretty good team.

"They like to pass the ball, but against West Ham they changed it a bit and played it long to to Helguson and McBride - who are good in the air - before, in the second half they kept it on the deck and played better."

A win at Craven Cottage would see us equal last season's total of five wins on the road , with seven trips remaining in the campaign. Martin believes the team should already have a greater away-day return.

"Yes, but I still feel in games like the Bolton or Liverpool, we should have created a bit more. Having said that, I think result-wise we have done better and if you keep a clean sheet away from home you make things easier for yourself.

"We didn't do that against Middlesbrough, for instance and let in three goals, so sometimes I would like us to be more consistant in keeping a clean sheet.

"We did get one last time at home and, if we can get a few more away wins between now and the end of the season and still do well at home, I think we can do very well and surprise a few people.

"We have very good players in midfield who like to keep the ball. Sometimes we should take advantage more up front, but there are not many teams who score more goals than we do.

"We do well, but we are perfectionists and want to do better and better. Fulham will be a tough game, but hopefully most of our players will be available for selection and, if that is the case, we are very optimistic."