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THE JOL VERDICT

Posted on 29 September 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol believes a more fluent brand of football is not far away after winning ways were returned to in the UEFA Cup on Thursday night.

Martin Jol believes a more fluent brand of football is not far away after winning ways were returned to in the UEFA Cup on Thursday night.

The manager accepted it was a scruffy victory over Slavia Prague that sealed our route into the group stage, but pointed out this was the key objective and free-flowing displays will hopefully follow.

"I think everybody appreciates that we will play attractive, fluent football again soon, but it is not easy at the moment," reasoned Martin. "We did the right thing, they invited us on whereas with being 1-0 up you would expect to have to wait for them.

"With the game being at the Lane, I said we had to score a goal and that proved difficult. We played some decent stuff for the first 20 minutes without scoring and then it maybe became a confidence thing because people probably wondered if it would be one of those nights again.

"I was very happy Robbie scored the goal because a special player like him must deliver and do the business for us. He did that last night.

"After that we could have scored more, but we did give one or two chances away. If you ahead it is not such a problem and it became exciting in the end.

"The crowd lifted us again and we were happy to be playing home. They were great for us and they knew how important it was for us to reach the next stage and play four games against big teams."

The boys are back in action on Sunday at the Lane with Portsmouth in opposition - a club to which three of our then squad headed in the January transfer window. Martin believes Pedro Mendes, Sean Davis and Noe Pamarot will be keen to shine on their return to N17.

"They will want to do well against us. Everybody knows I rated Pedro Mendes highly, but we had Michael Carrick who was performing well for us at the time. I always knew he was a very good player but he wanted to play.

"With Sean Davis it was a little bit different, he suffered with injuries during his time here and had a knee problem, but the longer he has played the better he is getting. He will want to show what he can do on Sunday and we will have to be strong.

"Noe Pamarot will hopefully play, but was on the bench against Bolton on Monday. He is a very good lad who was out for almost a year after his cruciate ligament injury. Hopefully he will do well at Portsmouth as well."