Martin Jol insists that Saturday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur is about three points and nothing more.
During Friday’s press conference, the Manager fielded dozens of questions in regards to going up against his former club and the return of Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembélé to Craven Cottage.
Having impressed against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, Jol has targeted another positive performance, and is hopeful his side can claim victory.
“This is another game,” said the Manager. “We’re at home and, as we know, we need the points. The same applies to them [Tottenham] because every team wants to do as best as they can. That should make for a good game.
“Tottenham have some terrific players, but we have quality too. We had a decent result at Chelsea, so Saturday’s match is about trying to win three points and not about our opponents.
“Obviously when we faced them last year it was a new experience for me, it was the first time I had managed a team against Tottenham since I left. It was nice, but it’s something you get used to very quickly.
“Spurs have had a good season and they come to Craven Cottage on the back of two straight victories. We know some of their players very well. Mousa Dembélé has impressed when he has played for them and it seems like every time he plays, Tottenham win. But he’s playing no differently to when he was with us.
“There’s also a return for Clint Dempsey too, someone who left with the hope of playing UEFA Champions League football. We used him in a slightly different role, now he’s playing in a higher 10 position – I’m sure he will adapt because he’s a player that is always hungry for goals.
“We have a different side to last season, and, if you look at someone like Dimitar Berbatov, he’s a player that has made an impact. He is real quality, and in recent weeks he’s had to play a little deeper, but I think he’s done well.
“He’s done what was needed but, at the end of the day, he’s still a striker and one that will score goals – which he has done.”
With five goals in his 10 appearances so far, Berbatov, who will again captain the side on Saturday in Brede Hangeland’s absence, will be joined by Kieran Richardson following the midfielder’s return from injury.
“That’s been a great piece of news for us as Richardson is a player that gives us something different,” added Jol. “We’ve had a few injury problems lately, and it’s been difficult. But both Bryan Ruiz and Alexander Kačaniklić return to training next week, as does Simon Davies, so we will be at full strength again. Brede will be back for the Newcastle United game, so we’re getting there.
“We haven’t had the best spell lately, we know that, but it hasn’t been that bad. As I said, the game against Chelsea was very positive and we have to build on that. With 15 minutes left we could have sat back and done our best to keep them out.
“But instead we took the match to them and, having broke a couple of times, perhaps we could have had more to show. I liked the way we kept them under pressure, and that showed the heart of this side. We always want to win.”