Approaching six months since his arrival at the club, Martin Jol offers his personal review of events and progress made so far...
BOXING DAY TEAM NEWS
I THINK WE started off well, we had a lot of new players and I think Jacques Santini made a good choice to play in a 4-4-2 system leaving no space.
He did well and we had two good results against Newcastle and Everton that were good for the spirits. After that you saw that the football needed to improve and you've got to make choices, we needed the points because we wanted to have a settled team.
It was a surprise when Jacques left, but Chris and myself took over - with Frank of course - and we had a difficult period playing against Arsenal at home and Aston Villa away. We scored four against Arsenal - I don't think many teams will do that - but still lost because of the errors we made.
Everybody was a bit worried, but after that we settled down and we didn't give many chances away while playing in a more attacking style. Even with playing in a more attacking way we kept some clean sheets.
Inbetween we had the Carling Cup, which I thought would be special and we could get a lot out of it. It wasn't the case and it was a big disappointment.
One of the nicest things is that we have a very good atmosphere in the club and everybody is feeling happy. That is one of the main reasons why we should get on, do the job and win a lot of points.
That is the main thing. A month ago we were a bit worried that the teams near the bottom were getting close to us, but we have since won 12 points in three weeks and are now in a better position and don't have to worry just before Christmas.
We now play Norwich away and that is not an easy game - I saw them beat Bolton Wanderers and they are fighting for their lives. We then play Crystal Palace who have a good spirit before we face Everton, Manchester United and Chelsea. So we need the points before entering some difficult weeks, but we are looking forward to it.
We are looking forward to it because we know we can do a job, so why not do a job against the top teams?
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and thank you for your support!