Martin Jol is refusing to accept that Fulham have done enough to stay in the Premier League despite beating Stoke City on Saturday.
The Fulham manager has challenged his players to replicate the application and intensity that characterised their crucial home win over Stoke during Saturday’s trip to Sunderland as he strives to take the club to the 40-point target he has set to ensure survivial. The Whites’ moved up to eleventh in the table after Dimitar Berbatov’s brilliant volley broke Stoke’s stubborn resistance at the weekend – but Jol has reminders from history about the perils of taking your feet off the pedal at this time of year.
I think it will be a struggle because I remember Blackpool being ninth in the league and they got relegated, I can remember Birmingham being in the top ten and winning the Carling Cup and being relegated. You are never safe in the Premier League.
Jol will ask his side to produce a performance similar to the one that beat Stoke at the Stadium of Light this weekend, mindful of the fact that Martin O’Neill’s men will be eager to put an end to their own miserable run of form.
We said that before the game, “this is a vital game for us” because Stoke are having a very good season and now after winning they are just one point above us. I can’t say we are fine but winning certainly helps. We are on 32 points now, so two or three other wins will make us safe. It is a bit of cliché but eight or nine teams are aiming for 40 points which means that you have all the resources to go on and be steady in the Premier League.