No pressure for Jol at Anfield
Published 07/11/2013 | 23:51
Martin Jol will feel no pressure when he sends his Fulham side out against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday despite being booed off the field last weekend.
The Fulham manager admitted feeling "very lonely" after his side slumped to a 3-1 home defeat against Manchester United on Saturday.
Jol's side lie 16th in the Premier League, two points above the relegation zone, but he said: "I don't think you are under pressure against Liverpool or Manchester United. You are under pressure in your home games against teams who should lose points against us, for example Crystal Palace.
"The main thing is that I am positive. I remain positive because I think we are good enough to get results against teams who are a bit better or worse than us and we will have points on the board.
"We did that against Stoke and Everton and Crystal Palace and Sunderland away from home.
"There will be four or five teams not as good as we are and I really believe that which is why I am positive."
Against Liverpool Jol will be missing right-back Sascha Riether who was banned for three matches after being charged by the Football Association for stamping on United's Adnan Januzaj towards the end of Saturday's defeat at Craven Cottage.
Fulham initially asked the FA for clarification on its retrospective action rule after Riether was charged with violent conduct but have now accepted the punishment.
Jol said: "If he did do it deliberately it is fair enough to get three games. The referee didn't see it. I didn't see it, but they decided to give him that punishment and people around me said it was probably something deliberate.
"He said it was not deliberate but he apologised to the club, to the fans and to us. It is not what you need, but we move on."
Defender Brede Hangeland and striker Bryan Ruiz, the latter having suffered the venom of the Fulham crowd when he was substituted on Saturday, face late fitness tests and Jol is sure Ruiz will shrug off the abuse.
"If they (the fans) are disappointed I can understand that," Jol said.
"The only disappointing thing was with Ruiz. As long as we don't have the results they can do it (boo) with me, but hopefully they will support the team. We are not in the best of situations, but we are not in the worst."
As for pressure, Jol admitted there is no room for sentiment: "It is part of our profession. I look at my mates such as Chris Hughton (Norwich) and in the past with Roberto Martinez at Wigan. If you go out of the league at the end like Wigan did that is disastrous.
"But I feel we are good enough and better than other clubs. With the spirit we have I think we will be fine."
Asked if he shared problems with such as Hughton, he added: "No, the difficult thing is that we are in the same boat and I would rather win myself than these other teams, even though they are my friends. I can't be a hypocrite and say I would love Hull City (to win) with Steve (Bruce), one of my good colleagues."