Martin Jol said it was ‘fantastic’ that Fulham had held off a spirited challenge from Dnipro to reach the Europa League group stages.

The Whites were on the back foot for large parts of the second leg, especially after Evgeniy Shakhov put the home side ahead on the night, but held on to win the play-off round tie 3-1 on aggregate. Jol hailed a disciplined defensive performance and was delighted to see his side into the competition proper.

That was the target and it was fantastic that we were able to achieve something. We wanted to achieve the group stages and that’s what we did.

You have to keep the ball and show everybody that you come here for the result. I know that if you’re three-nil up and score one goal it’s over but we couldn’t do that so we had to contain them and fight for the result.

We couldn’t do a lot up front today, we didn’t have a lot of choices on the bench. Normally you could give Duffer a rest, take Dempsey off early but Riise was injured so that didn’t help. But overall, for now, I think it was a result we wanted.

That [Dnipro’s pressure] is why you have to score a goal as well. Of course it was not easy for Andy Johnson up front – it was probably the first time he and Dembele played together. But I was happy with the midfield and the back four because they had to anticipate all the time because the number eight [Giuliano] and number ten [Konoplyanka] for Dnipro were fantastic players. It wasn’t easy but in the end the win was deserved.