Martin Jol describes Fulham’s thumping victory at Crystal Palace tonight as vitally important to help his team claw their way out of the relegation dogfight.
The Dutch coach took his side to Selhurst Park with just two wins from their opening seven league fixtures to their name and nervously looking over their shoulders as they sat above the bottom three on goal difference. Although Fulham didn’t get off to the best start, conceding an early goal to Adrian Mariappa, sensational strikes from Pajtim Kasami and Steve Sidwell turned the game on its head.
It was unbelievably important to get a result and, of course, for them it was a game of importance. We were on seven points and you get under pressure like all the other teams on seven, eight points, so we needed the three points and now we’re in a better position for Fulham.
The media will build it up, but I love to have some pressure and the boys will feel the same. They want to do well for me and the club, and that’s what we showed. Everybody is happy again. You want 20 points first, then 30 and 40, which is not easy in this league, but I feel we’ve got the players to do well and I think we’re in a better position now.
It was a fantastic Kasami goal, with his wrong foot. It was unbelievable because I haven’t seen him do it before. I think it’s probably better than people feel or think because he had to control the ball on his chest, then with his wrong foot in the other corner. It was a real good goal from a talented boy.
Asked how it compared to his compatriot, Marco van Basten’s famous volley in the 1988 European Championships, Jol was effusive in his praise:
That was totally different, you can’t compare the two, but this was better! With Van Basten, that was one touch, but I think he (Kasami) sprinted 30 yards, then controlled the ball and to score the goal like that was probably even better. It could be one of the goals of the season.