Martin Jol lauded Giorgos Karagounis’ ‘warrior-like spirit’ after the Greek veteran produced a moment of magic to spare Fulham from an embarrassing FA Cup exit at the hands of Blackpool this afternoon.
The Greek midfielder scored a sensational equaliser with ten minutes to go as Fulham looked close to crashing out of the competition at the first hurdle and Jol credited his hunger to make a difference as the main reason why his below-par side earned a replay.
“You need a bit of luck and you need a bit of quality and Giorgos gave us that. He’s in the team for the last three games and I told him maybe he’d play 60 minutes because he’s played the other games, but I had to leave him on. He’s not only a legend in his country, he’s a warrior for us – he wants to win and he wants to play for the team.
“I was very happy that he came here and he showed why today. He scored out of nothing – if you look at YouTube he’s probably done it eight or nine times before and that’s what he’s capable of. He’s a character, he’s a personality.”
Jol stood by his desire to take the FA Cup seriously after naming the same side that had recorded a vital victory at West Brom on New Year’s Day.
We played the same team again and that helps, because everyone realises you’re taking it seriously. Maybe they’re tired but that’s no excuse – Blackpool play more games in the Championship than we do. I thought it was necessary to signal to the fans that we want to play our best team. We played well against West Brom and Swansea , so I thought I’d play the same team.”