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Wednesday 25 April 2018

Jol admits looming local derbies could seal his fate

UNDER PRESSURE: Martin Jol
UNDER PRESSURE: Martin Jol

Manager Martin Jol admits two back-to-back London derbies could determine his future as Fulham manager.

The Cottagers play West Ham today and Tottenham on Wednesday following a desperate run of five defeats in a row which have left them occupying a relegation position in the Premier League.

The Fulham faithful have begun to vent their anger, chanting 'Jol out' during and after matches and players such as Costa Rican winger Bryan Ruiz have borne the brunt of some lacerating criticism. Jol, whose side have just 10 points from 12 matches, remains confident of escaping his predicament, but said, "You don't have to talk to an owner to be aware of the fact that you need points to get back to a winning culture.

Asked if he believed his position as manager was safe, Jol added, "If we win, yeah. If we don't, I don't know. It is always difficult.

"We need wins. Every game is almost a must-win game. That is what I have told everyone.

"If you are at a club like Fulham or Stoke or Swansea you always get times when things could go wrong and you have to try to get back to winning ways."

Two weeks ago Fulham appointed Rene Meulensteen, who had success with Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, to work with Jol as head coach.

PRESSURE

It has cranked up the pressure even more on Jol, although the Fulham manager insists he welcomed the initiative.

"Sometimes you have to change something to get back to winning ways and I thought it was necessary to get someone like him and I think it has paid off in training," Jol said.

"Players have responded to it and some have got a new lease of life.

"I feel we are good enough to get higher up the league."

The statistics, however, are worrying. Fulham have scored 11 goals but conceded a hefty 21 and have lost seven of their past 10 Premier League games, conceding 11 goals in their past four matches.

At Upton Park they might well be boosted by the return from injury of central defender Brede Hangeland but striker Dimitar Berbatov is doubtful after feeling unwell.

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