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MARTIN'S DELIGHT

Posted on 5 February 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol paid tribute to his young side after we bagged three precious Premiership points against Charlton on Sunday.

Martin Jol paid tribute to his young side after we bagged three precious Premiership points against Charlton on Sunday.

The majority of the 13 players used were aged 25 or under - including teenagers Aaron Lennon and Tom Huddlestone - as a double from Jermain Defoe and Jermaine Jenas' fifth goal in his last 18 matches secured a 3-1 victory at the Lane.

We also had to cope with another couple of injuries as Tom made his home debut in place of Teemu Tainio after just 25 minutes and Johnnie Jackson returned for his first appearance since October 2004 in place of Aaron, who suffered a dead leg in the first half.

"I thought it was a terrific win," said Martin. "It was another tough derby and overall I think we deserved to win.

"I think we are fortunate to have someone like Jermain Defoe out there because he can score goals out of nothing and that helped us because we lost a bit of initiative in the second half.

"The substitutions broke our rhytmn a bit but having said that, I was pleased with how Tom Huddlestone played and Johnnie Jackson came in and did well so we had a very young team out, not just on the pitch but on the bench as well.

"It must have been one of the youngest teams ever and one of the youngest squads ever. That is something we can be proud of."

Martin was asked if Jermain had proved a point with his two-goal salvo having been out of the side in recent weeks.

"No, he's too big a player to have to prove a point and it's the same with Robbie Keane," countered the Head Coach.

"Sometimes I have to make a choice, just like Mourinho has to with Crespo and Drogba or West Brom with their five strikers or West Ham with their five strikers.

"People talk about 'little and large' but I don't even know what that is. I talk about one player who can hold up the ball and another who can stretch defences.

"If Jermain is playing high up the pitch and working hard like he did, Robbie is working hard and they are working for each other then I think we could score a lot of goals."

Sunday signalled the end of three matches without a win in the league following the defeat at Liverpool, draw against Villa and 1-0 reverse at Fulham last week.

Martin added: "I don't think we've had an unbelievably bad spell or anything like that. Liverpool are a very strong team, Villa was disappointing because we didn't score and Fulham was different, we had a lot of players out.

"Last season we lost six matches on the trot - that's a bad spell."