Fulham must be inventive in their search for new players if they are to bring in fresh faces next month, according to manager Martin Jol.
Jol’s side have struggled for consistency in the Barclays Premier League this season and travel to face Liverpool on Saturday having won just one of their past nine league matches.
The transfer window opens at the turn of the year and it was Fulham who pulled off one of the deals of the summer when they signed striker Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United.
Jol reckons it is difficult to sign high-quality players unless they are unsettled at their current club but revealed he does have a couple of names in mind.
“We showed that we are able to get players in, even when they are not on the market because if players are on the market it is different,” he said.
“If you were president, chairman or chief executive at another club you never try and get rid of your best players – so we have to try and be inventive.
“We have to try to get the players who are not playing well or not fitting in at their other clubs, but they have to be better than the players we have got so we will come up with one or two solutions.
“We are looking for good players and they are always under contracts with other clubs, you have to pay but if they are playing well, we wouldn’t sell (Dimitar) Berbatov now, it means other clubs won’t do that.
“It is not an easy situation but we know maybe one or two players who are having problems at their clubs – we always look to strengthen and if it possible we will do it.”
One highly-rated player who will line-up against Jol’s Fulham side on Saturday in Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.
The Uruguay international was plying his trade at Ajax when Jol was appointed the club’s new manager in 2009 and the 25-year-old was handed the captain’s armband by the Fulham boss, who still holds the striker in high regard.
“He is a good player, he scored 53 goals in all competitions when I was there (at Ajax),” he said.
“He is certainly one of the best strikers in Europe, probably in the world, he has scored a lot of goals for his country. He is one of the better forward players.”
A defeat to struggling local rivals QPR last weekend leaves Fulham just five points clear of the relegation zone.
Jol admits that is a concern but, due to the tight nature of the league, the Cottagers are also only five points behind eighth-placed Norwich.
“It is a worry for any club who is in the bottom nine or 10,” he said. “I thought at the start of the season there would be 11 or 12 clubs fighting to get out of the situation and we had a good start and are still two points ahead of our points tally from last season.”
After the trip to Anfield, Fulham face home clashes with Southampton and Swansea before travelling to face West Brom on New Year’s Day.
Many have campaigned for a break over the Christmas period in English football but Jol, who has managed in leagues who do have a rest period in the winter, does not want to see it introduced here.
He said: “Abroad I would prefer a winter break because it is a common thing but in England I would play on and play all the games because it is almost a family tradition to go to football.
“I always love it at Christmas time, in Germany they would never think about playing on, but in England it is different – even if it is not warm enough the crowd still turn up in their thousands. We play for the supporters so why would I want a winter break?”