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THE JOL VERDICT

Posted on 10 January 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol offers his considered reaction to the nine-point haul from the busy Christmas programme...

Martin Jol offers his considered reaction to the nine-point haul from the busy Christmas programme...

We had a very good return from the Christmas period and we were fully motivated to do well over the holidays. People tell me we don't do well over Christmas but I think we had our best spell this year, although it was a disappointment against West Brom.

I still think we can't lose games like that, but we got nine points from four games and that is great.
We are achieving a consistency and it is because we are playing like a team, we want to bounce back immediately if we lose a game. If we have a lot of games it can be difficult, but we played more games than Newcastle and looked sharper than them. That is a great thing because Newcastle, for example, have got some players of great quality.

If we can create a gap between ourselves and teams like Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Manchester City we have a big chance of doing well this season. Wigan and Bolton are still well positioned so there remains a danger but I feel everyone is behind us.

I was very proud of Michael Brown at Manchester City on Wednesday, he hasn't played much at all in the last month, but he came in and played as if he hadn't missed a match. That is what I want.

There is a lot of trust in the players and I think they have a lot of confidence

Lee Young-Pyo was worried after the game because he thought he had a very bad injury. It now looks like he has got away with deep bruising and hopefully he will be fine for our next match in the FA Cup.

Young-Pyo said it was the worst tackle on him ever and I was quoted as using that description when asked about it later. I liked a tackle myself as a player and I've always believed it is up to the referee to make a decision.

Having now seen it on TV I can say it was a bad tackle, but to say it was the worst is too strong.

A big positive from Wednesday was the performance of Aaron Lennon who did very well in creating our first goal. He is young, talented and hopefully he can be consistent. I also have the option of playing Jermaine Jenas there and he is giving us a lot. But in our vision and philosophy we like wide players and if they can perform I will play them.