No regrets for Jol
Published 24/10/2013 | 15:41
Martin Jol does not regret his decision to reject Manchester United, and has revealed that he had to pay for his own flight to the north-west for his interview with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson revealed in his autobiography, which was released on Thursday, that he wanted to make Jol his assistant at Manchester United when Carlos Queiroz left to take over at Real Madrid in the 2003-04 season.
Jol caught a flight from Holland to Manchester to be interviewed by Ferguson, and the Scot was impressed with what the Dutchman, who was then managing RKC Waalwijk, had to say.
"Martin had been impressive and I was inclined to give him the job," Ferguson writes in 'My Autobiography'.
Jol went cold on the idea of becoming Ferguson's number two, and the Scot ended up taking Queiroz back on soon after anyway after he was sacked from his position at the Bernabeu.
"I never wanted to (take the job)," the Fulham manager told a press conference.
"I don't think I am someone who can work as an assistant.
"If you look at the coaches who were with him - it was not easy for them to (become a number one). Queiroz was probably the exception to the rule.
"The rest stayed as an assistant. Rene Meulensteen is still struggling to be a number one somewhere now."
Jol, who went on to manage Ajax, Tottenham and Hamburg before joining Fulham, admits he enjoyed the experience of the interview, but he joked that he has never forgiven the now-retired United boss for not covering his expenses.
"It was always nice to talk to him because he is a good man," Jol added.
"But don't forget that he is Scottish so I had to pay for my own ticket! He never gave me my money back!"
Although Jol has had a successful career in management since leaving Holland, he has been under pressure in recent weeks following Fulham's poor start to the season.
Their form has improved of late, though. The Cottagers have won their last two games, including an impressive 4-1 win at Crystal Palace on Monday night.
Owner Shahid Khan was at Selhurst Park to watch his team brush aside the Eagles and he is expected to be at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday for Fulham's trip to Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton.
Jol insists he maintains a good relationship with Khan and is looking forward to seeing him this weekend when his NFL franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars play the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley.
"When he is here we talk to each other and if he is not we don't," said Jol, who will sit in an executive box with Khan at Wembley.
"He will be in our offices (at the training ground) and of course we will go to the (American Football) game on Sunday because it's a big game for them."
Brede Hangeland is doubtful for the trip to Southampton because of a nerve problem and Bryan Ruiz could miss out with a back injury.
Meanwhile, Jol has reiterated his desire to keep hold of Steve Sidwell, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
"We are talking to him, we offered him one, so who knows what will happen," the 57-year-old said.
"We are talking to Steve and for me there is no difference, for me he can stay for two years."