Monday 18 December 2017

Berbatov on mark as 'gems' prove worth

Fulham 1

Southampton 1

One man's rubbish is another man's treasure. Dimitar Berbatov is Fulham manager Martin Jol's unwanted gold from Manchester United and Nigel Adkins, the Southampton manager, has Rickie Lambert as his unearthed gem.

Berbatov was a steal at £5m from Alex Ferguson's United and not only showed his goalscoring prowess with Fulham's opener, but an uncharacteristic attitude to track back and harass defenders from the front.

Adkins inherited Lambert from Alan Pardew, the current Newcastle manager, and after playing in the lower tiers with Rochdale, Macclesfield Town and Bristol City, the 30-year-old keeps showing he is more than capable of playing in the Premier League.

Berbatov was first to be hailed by his manager. "I am happy with him," Jol said. "He shows a lot of skill and quality and he has a lot of self-belief, which we need. I will have a word with him about his celebration which cost him a yellow card."

After scoring his sixth goal of the season Berbatov celebrated by revealing a T-shirt which read 'Keep Calm and Pass Me the Ball.' That message did not get across to his team-mates as they were anything but calm on the ball after that.

With five minutes left Chris Baird handled in the area and Lambert converted the penalty. Adkins was also quick to heap praise on his star striker, who has scored seven goals this season. "Rickie is quality," he said. "He is a great forward player for us."

(© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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