THE JOL VERDICT
Martin Jol reflects and offers his considered verdict on the 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday.
Martin Jol reflects and offers his considered verdict on the 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday.WE HAVE NOT won in the league up at Bolton since the opening of the Reebok Stadium and a point at the venue would normally be considered a decent result. We needed three though, given our current position where we are striving to recover after a difficult start to our campaign.
I feel we have done okay over our last three or four games, but results do not reflect this. We should have beaten Fulham by a big margin, we could have got something at Manchester United, while we failed to press home the advantage we had against Arsenal. The match against Anorthosis Famagusta served to get our strikers on the scoresheet, which was a boost before we headed to Bolton.
Both teams needed the points but it was Bolton who were killing time near the end, which was quite a telling factor. There were some positives to come out of the afternoon, Benoit Assou-Ekotto coming in for his second game of the season, Teemu Tainio doing well on his return to the side as I felt Aaron Lennon needed building up a little more after only playing one game so far this season.
I thought we were the better team and the possession figure of 61 per cent also bears this out, while physically we matched a strong Bolton side. We are a much, much better side than our league position suggests and we will prove this as the season progresses.
More and more players are coming back into the reckoning, Teemu makes us more solid as a unit, while we also have the players to give us a spark. We were training today with the likes of Adel Taarabt, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Aaron Lennon and Wayne Routledge and we are lucky to have these youngsters with bundles of talent.
We have had something like 15 chances in our last three away matches and what we need now is a higher conversion rate. Robbie Keane scored his second goal in two games yesterday and that is the way it should be, if I give them the chance to play and express themselves they have to deliver.
What we need now is to score more goals, don't concede and keep clean sheets - 70 per cent of the goals we have let in have been avoidable and that is what we have to do. It comes down to team spirit and I know that everybody is committed to the cause and the cause is to get higher up in the league and make a success of the season.
Doing this is dominating my thoughts at the moment so, as you would imagine, I was a little bit surprised to hear that one newspaper was suggesting that I was on the verge of quitting my job today - what a load of rubbish!