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OVATION CHEERS JOL

Posted on 20 October 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol was a proud man after the lads were awarded a standing ovation by the fanatical home support after Thursday night's UEFA Cup win in Besiktas.

Martin Jol was a proud man after the lads were awarded a standing ovation by the fanatical home support after Thursday night's UEFA Cup win in Besiktas.

Those home fans were something to behold - an incredible wall of sound with what looked like choreographed swaying that started in earnest 30 minutes before kick-off and continued throughout, despite their side's defeat.

They showed their first signs of appreciation following a one-touch move that led to Robbie Keane's shot being saved, they then applauded goalscorer Dimitar Berbatov's departure as he was replaced by Jermain Defoe and then stayed behind to clap the lads as they departed.

"That is exactly what you want, to be applauded off the pitch in Turkey is probably evidence that they rated us," reflected Martin.

"We wanted to silence the crowd but after a couple of minutes we thought it would be impossible to silence a crowd like that. They showed some respect and that is what you want in football. If you applaud the away team it says it all."

Martin also reserved special praise for goalscorers Hossam Ghaly and Berbatov after the group stage victory.

Hossam struck the crucial opening blow after 31 minutes at the Inonu Stadium and Dimitar wrapped it up with a magical second strike with 63 minutes on the clock.

"Berbatov showed some flashes of his quality and that was very good," added Martin. "We've always said that if the strikers can make a difference, we will be tough to beat because our defence is strong.

"Last season we scored goals at crucial moments and we haven't done so far this season, that's why it was important Hossam Ghaly scored the first goal and then Berbatov the second, that's the extra quality we have up front.

"Hossam Ghaly played on the right in pre-season, did well but then our internationals came back after being in the World Cup and he had to wait again for his chance. He has loads of character and a great mentality. I'm delighted for him."