The Opposition View - Fulham
1) Martin Jol has now been in charge for two seasons, how do you think his tenure has gone so far and do you think he is the right man to take Fulham forward?
It`s hard to say. It`s been a strange couple of seasons. Just as Martin thought he had a settled squad (last summer) Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele were sold, leaving Martin very little time to bring in replacements. In the transfer window in January, Martin was forced to scrabble around to bring in some loan players. There are now rumours circulating that the board are unwilling to meet the fees put on these players to make the deals permanent, prompting suggestions that Jol might chuck it all in and return to either Germany or Holland!
2) How do you think your season has gone so far? Is it what you expected or would you have wanted to be pushing for European places?
It`s not been what we expected, the exodus of players last summer left us with a squad that wasn`t, I believe, as strong as the previous season. Sure, we`ve brought in the fantastic talent that is Dimitar Berbatov but we`re too lightweight in the midfield department and we`ve suffered accordingly. Just lately we`ve hit a run that has relegation form written all over it, I`m just thankful we had enough points on the board not to be dragged into the scrap.
3) Although your not mathematically safe, you are highly likely to be a Premier League team next near. What sort of dealings would you like to see in the summer?
We have to reinforce the midfield, it`s too weak after Dembele, Dempsey, Murphy and Etuhu jumped ship last summer. Sidwell has performed admirably but his two recent red cards have seen him out for the remainder of the season. Elsewhere, perhaps a new striker to support Dimitar might see us have a far healthier season.
4) Who are Fulham`s inform player/s coming into this game?
I would have said Dimitar Berbatov but the Bulgarian striker limped off in our poor display against Everton, at Goodison Park, and is a doubt for the match.
5) What are your strengths and weaknesses as a team that you have noticed over the past couple of games?
Our strengths - The ability to counter-attack with pace!
Our weaknesses - We`re having trouble scoring, in four out of the last five Premier League games we`ve failed to score. Also, our midfield is a little light due to Steve Sidwell`s absence through suspension.
6) What did you think about the sacking of Brian McDermott and the appointment of Nigel Adkins?
I thought it was harsh on McDermott after he`d led you to promotion and I have to say if he was going to be sacked then he should have been removed earlier, although appointing Adkins was a smart move. He was unlucky to lose his job at Southampton and he knows the ropes when it comes to getting promotion from the Championship.
7) If you had to take one player from our side now we are relegated, who would it be?
Pavel Pogrebrynak - I can still spell it after all this time J. I liked the guy when he was at Craven Cottage and thought he was going to stay with us, but his was swayed by big money!
8) Who do you reckon will start for you and what sort of shape will you probably have?
A hard one this! Last time out we lost Richardson and Berbatov to injury, Sidwell is suspended and Riether is carrying a knock. But, giving it some thought I reckon it could be:
Schwarzer, Riether (or Manolev), Senderos, Hangeland, Riise, Karagounis, Enoh, Emanuelson, Duff, Ruiz, Berbatov (or Petric)
9) What's your prediction for the game?
Our luck has to change sometimes, I`m going for a Fulham win, 2-0!
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