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Jol hails Fulham after battling win at Hawthorns

MARTIN JOL heaped praise on Fulham after overcoming New Year's Eve disruptions to register their first ever Premier League away win over West Brom yesterday lunchtime.

Jol and his players were kept awake in their hotel in the centre of Birmingham by the fireworks and celebrations outside which heralded the start of 2013. But it was Albion who looked sleepy, particularly in the first half, as goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Alexander Kacaniklic helped Fulham triumph 2-1.

It was only their second win in the last 13 games as the Baggies managed a solitary reply from on-loan Chelsea striker Roman Lukaku.

Jol, a former West Brom player, said: "Probably the best fireworks were at midnight in front of my hotel!

"That was annoying. I said we needed a quiet hotel and it was unbelievable. There were 2,000 people in front of my window!

"I think it kept the players up too so I was worried. At first I thought it was fans, but it wasn't.

"To then get a win under our belts the next day, on the first of January, was fantastic. I was in a penthouse suite at the Hyatt Hotel. The next time we'll go to the Moat House where I lived for seven months when I was younger (as an Albion player)!"


Jol was pleased with the performance of goalkeeper David Stockdale, who made several crucial second-half saves to help clinch Fulham's second away win of the campaign. He said: "I was very happy for him. Against Swansea (on Saturday) I think we deserved the three points more than at Albion.

"Because of a couple of mistakes, we didn't look very good and that was very disappointing for him and for us because we know that he's a fantastic goalkeeper."

Albion head coach Steve Clarke blamed sloppy defending for his side's third home defeat of the season.

He said: "Both goals were disappointing, certainly avoidable.

"The first one was on the counter-attack from our attack. We didn't occupy the pitch well and got caught on that one. For the second one, we just switched off.

"It was just a bit of mental fatigue maybe as well as physical fatigue."