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THE JOL VERDICT

Posted on 31 August 2007  - 12:00

Martin Jol reflects on last weekend’s narrow reverse at Old Trafford and looks ahead to our visit to Craven Cottage on Saturday…

Martin Jol reflects on last weekend’s narrow reverse at Old Trafford and looks ahead to our visit to Craven Cottage on Saturday…IT WAS A good performance from the team up at Old Trafford, but not one that brought the right result. I feel we were unfortunate, we hit the crossbars and had a couple of good chances. Manchester United scored when we didn't close Nani down and the game panned out more or less the same as last season. They have been close games between us up there.

In the first half I felt we did okay tactically, while lacking a little bit of flair, but in the second half we were much better, taking the game to them and that is what you've got to do. We were showing the quality on the pitch and we should have punished them.

The fact Manchester United were hanging on at home is a good sign, but it is not so good being told you were the best team after a game that you have lost. We want the points as well, we want to be an effective side and we will try and be that in the future.

We travel to Fulham on Saturday and it will be a difficult challenge as Fulham are a side that have not got the points they deserve from their performances. We will hopefully have a few players available to us again. We have the quality and now we need the points.

It is early days for Michael Dawson, although he is training again, while Younes Kaboul is fine and will be involved as Anthony Gardner is injured. Aaron Lennon is back in full training and ahead of schedule so that is a decision we've got to make - he hasn't played a game yet but he looks fine.

Darren Bent will probably not be in the squad because of the thigh injury that kept him out last week, but we will have to wait and see.

Gareth Bale did ever so well last week, his fitness was probably better than anyone else on the pitch and the statistics showed that. I was very happy with him in his first game, he looks a flair player with all the confidence, which is good for an 18-year-old.

Jermaine Jenas committed his future to the Club this week by signing a new five-year contract. He was one of the best players on the pitch against Derby County after a difficult night when we played Everton a few days before and that is typical of JJ. He wants to prove himself and become a top player and has got all the qualities to be one. He has got great stamina, he is an athlete, he has got speed - all the ingredients.

When a player like JJ commits himself for the next five years, it is good for him of course, but also very good for the club.