Fulham winger Kieran Richardson has touted Martin Jol as one of football’s great managers and claims he should not be held to blame for the Cottagers’ poor start to the season.
Jol’s future as Fulham boss has been the subject of speculation with some fans calling for his head after the recent defeat at home to Cardiff.
However, Richardson believes Jol will turn the club’s on-field fortunes around.
“He’s got great man-management skills, he’s a great coach, his understanding of the game is top draw,” Richardson said.
“Since I’ve been in the game he’s definitely up there as one of the best managers I’ve been around. He’s managed top clubs. What initially attracted me to Fulham was the manager.
“I do believe and think all the players believe he is definitely the manager to take us forward. He’s under a little bit of pressure at the moment, but a win on Monday and we’re on 10 points and we’re mid-table and everyone’s silent.
“We’re the ones out there playing the game. Obviously we want to do as well as we can for Fulham, for the manager and the fans.”
Those fans may well be losing patience with their club, as Fulham’s last outing – a 1-0 win at home to Stoke before the international break – brought only their second victory in the league this season.
Richardson said: “We know [their] frustration and we want to do as well as we can. We don’t want to sit on the bottom of the league.
“With the players we have in our team we shouldn’t be there. No game in the Premiership is given, you have to work hard for it. We had a good win in the last game and hopefully we can beat [Crystal] Palace on Monday.”
The former Manchester United player believes that were it not for a dose of bad luck, Fulham could be sitting further up the table.
Richardson added: “It’s early in the season, some results we just missed out. At Newcastle away they scored in the last minute. We’ve been a bit unlucky in that sense. But hopefully it will turn around for us now and we can crack on.”
A loss at Crystal Palace on Monday would add to the pressure on Dutchman Jol, but Richardson hopes the club keep faith with the manager
“I think we feel upset. I feel I’ve let him down,” Richardson continued.
“He brought me to the club and I don’t want to see him get the sack. As a manager, I think his credentials are right up there so I don’t see the need to get rid of this manager.”