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THE JOL VERDICT

Posted on 24 April 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol reflects on the point won at Highbury that ensured European football will be back at the Lane next season...

Martin Jol reflects on the point won at Highbury that ensured European football will be back at the Lane next season...

EVERYBODY IS PROUD of the team following the draw at Highbury on Saturday because we are now in European competition next season and that was our first target.

The disappointing thing is, certainly after the way we played for 60 or 70 minutes, that we should have won the game. We had three or four chances in the first half - with Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe and Teemu Tainio - and if you don't score against a team like Arsenal events can turn against you.

They didn't because we got the draw we needed to maintain our advantage, but I am still a bit disappointed. We have played very well in recent games and been creative, but it is not all about making chances - you have to put them into the net.

If you look back at our 1-0 win over Everton, for example, it should have been 3-0. I think Jermain and Robbie did well and Jermain has probably had eight chances in his last three matches. You have to put them away and hopefully we will do that in the future but, if you win and still create chances, you always have a better feeling.

Some people have commented that we performed like the home team at Highbury and I've heard that has not happened in the last three years, in that the away team had 55 per cent of the possession.

We now have two games left and winning them would realise our ambition of finishing fourth. We have approached all recent games in the same way, treated them like cup finals, and they have all been tight games where we have had to fight. I must compliment the players for their efforts.

The players realise they can only do well as a team and the only star for us is the team. It is a very good mentality to have.

It is Bolton next for us on Sunday and they will have taken some confidence from their 4-1 win over Charlton at the weekend. They are so difficult to play against and it is not about direct football. They have more to their game, they can play to the flanks and it will be a difficult game.