THE JOL VERDICT
Back at the training ground, Martin Jol offers his considered final thoughts on the weekend victory over Wigan Athletic at the Lane...
Back at the training ground, Martin Jol offers his considered final thoughts on the weekend victory over Wigan Athletic at the Lane...EVERY HOME WIN is good for us, we didn't play particularly well against Wigan on Sunday but I thought before if we could match their effort and determination - which they have a lot of - then we would have a great chance of winning the game with our quality up front.
That is what happened, Jermain Defoe scored after a dull period of the game. We went 1-0 down and that was disappointing because it is the fourth time in recent weeks that it has happened to us - the only good thing about it being that we have come back each time.
The crowd was good, lifted us again and we scored another through Dimitar Berbatov. It was a great goal that had nothing to do with team play as he did it out of nothing. We knew there was a bit of space down that flank which we tried to exploit with Steed Malbranque dropping off and putting the ball into that area. It came off and it was good.
We had to wait for too long to score the third one so it made for an exciting game again.
There were a few concerns in my mind when we went a goal down after such a busy spell. Before the game you know that scoring two early goals at home always provides a bit of a cushion and we needed that at the end of the week we'd had. We didn't get it, they scored first and it gave us a bit of a worry.
It didn't take too long for us to get back and we knew after we got the second that we would be able to hit them on the break. As I said, it took us a long time to get the third and what we want is for it to be like a couple of seasons ago when we scored five goals on a few occasions and three on others. If there is only a margin of one it is often not enough in the Premiership.
We have recorded good home results since the defeat to Everton, while we have had draws away against Aston Villa, Watford and Blackburn. The disappointing away game for us was Reading. Overall in all competitions we have done very well, but we need wins away from home in the league and that is a fact.
We haven't yet and we need to start winning on our travels, but it is not easy. We are not playing the way we would really like to yet, on Sunday our defence was the same and up front Robbie Keane played on the Thursday and because Jermain was sharp we played him and it came off because he scored.
In the midfield we have had too many changes because Jermaine Jenas has been out, Teemu Tainio played against Leverkusen but couldn't play again so soon after his operation. I played Tom Huddlestone and Didier Zokora and they did well, but you can't expect us to play immaculate football if we have to make changes in a particular area.
We have to work on our midfield play, we have to work on our passing to the forward players, which sometimes is good and sometimes a little sloppy.
We are a passing team and if you are that you have to do well on the ball. So we must keep improving. Results-wise we must be happy, if you play 14 games and win 10 with three draws you should be pleased, but it was that particular match against Reading which did us no favours. If we had won that we would have been in a terrific situation.