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POSITIVES FOR MARTIN

Posted on 14 July 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol took plenty of positives out of our 2-1 victory against Ligue 1 runners-up Bordeaux in France on Thursday night.

Martin Jol took plenty of positives out of our 2-1 victory against Ligue 1 runners-up Bordeaux in France on Thursday night.

Kieran McKenna’s late header secured the victory in our first pre-season friendly of the campaign after Jermain Defoe opened the scoring in the first half. Johan Micou levelled for Bordeaux just before the break.

Newcomers Dimitar Berbatov and Benoit Assou-Ekotto both made their first starts for us in Albertville.

“The most important thing was to get 90 minutes under our belts,†reflected boss Martin. “Bordeaux started pre-season at the end of June and that was always going to be a problem for us because we’ve trained hard, but we did well.

“You want to go out, play good football and get a good result but that is not the main thing, preparation time is.

“It was good to see Benoit adjusting when we played with three in the centre of defence (from a 4-4-2) in the second half. He’s quick, dynamic and he has to cope with the English game but I think he will do that.

“Berbatov is a stylish striker who will score goals. We were a little tired in the second half and that meant we couldn’t really create enough for him because he will always be on the end of attacks.

“The main thing was to keep our shape and get through the game and if you have a good result as well it’s always handy for the confidence, especially for the younger lads.â€Â

Martin had praise for striker Jermain who has come back into training firing on all cylinders after the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup with England.

He scored a typical Defoe goal - picking up the ball from Danny Murphy, working a yard of space and drilling home from the edge of the box.

Martin added: “Jermain started training with us on Monday, just three days ago, so I was pleased for him. I know if he faces onto goal, five out of 10 it’s a goal. He’s back and the first thing he did was score a goal.

“It was also great to see Kieran score a goal. He’s one for the future and that’s why it’s good for him. He has an amazing mentality and he’s so fit. The same applies to Jamie O’Hara, another great talent.â€Â