THE JOL VERDICT
Back at Spurs Lodge, Martin Jol gives his considered reaction to the weekend reverse at Sheffield United…
Back at Spurs Lodge, Martin Jol gives his considered reaction to the weekend reverse at Sheffield United…THE PITCH AT Bramall Lane on Saturday was the topic of some conversation after the game, but it is part of English football and you have to deal with the conditions on any given day. I think that is what we did, but we conceded too many corners and free-kicks and we have to be more physical in coping with the threat from them.
Vidic scored against us last week from a corner and Hulse did this time - almost scoring another goal from a free-kick. We have to do better than that and I feel that we will.
We are not being dragged into the lower reaches, we are 11th with a game in hand, which is not the best of positions because we want to be in the top seven, but we have played 40 games now and are still developing as a team and unit.
At times this season we have flourished, we are proud of the cup runs this season, but we could do with five or six points more in the league and that is the issue. If we had put our chances away on our travels at places like Watford and Aston Villa there would be no complaints over our league position.
We were a bit unfortunate on Saturday because I felt Ricardo Rocha's goal was legal – similar to the first goal against us from the header. I thought the penalty decision was a bit harsh, but it was also unnecessary to make such a challenge and it then turns events against you.
We will turn it around and make things better. We have been a bit vulnerable lately but, in the end, our quality will pull us through.
Our supporters have been fantastic to us right from the beginning and I would ask them to stick with us now things have taken an unexpected turn. Confidence is not low and we still have the quality to come through this period - we have done it before and we will do it again.
We have a clear week this week with no midweek game or internationals so we can prepare properly for the FA Cup trip to Fulham and, of course, this is important for us. We had it before after we did not start the season so well against some of the top teams, but we were then able to train and our season picked up and we went on a great run over October, November and December.
I feel there is a lot of growth to come in this team and we will show that, but sometimes you have to be patient. We need a bit of time.
We're back on the FA Cup trail on Sunday and Fulham might feel we are there for the taking at the moment. We will use that as a motivation and we have prove to people that we can be solid, physical and professional in what we do.
We haven't suffered a defeat in 14 cup matches over 90 minutes and that is good. We will go to Craven Cottage full of confidence, knowing we will have a big fight on our hands, but determined to progress to the quarter final.
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