Martin Jol was full of praise for the harmony he sees in his squad as they prepare for Sunday afternoon’s clash with Southampton at St Mary’s.
“What I’ve seen over the last year, it’s about togetherness, it’s about team building,” he explained. “I think the attitude of my players is great, it’s fantastic. If you see the nucleus of my team, which was there of course before I came, I changed the philosophy a bit but I still feel that they want to give everything.
“I want to stay true to myself. If I want to improve someone then I will say what I’ve got on my mind to try to improve them as a player. But, of course, it’s not easy because they are very insecure and vulnerable because it’s a high-profile job that they’ve got.
“For me, the most important thing is results and development of my team and I think it was a big challenge last year and everyone has to agree that we did well. We got more points than we have in almost any other year, combined with playing in Europe, so I was pretty happy.”
There have been considerable personnel changes during Jol’s tenure at the Cottage but the Dutchman is pleased with how things are working out.
“I feel that under the top four or five, maybe six [teams in the Barclays Premier League] now, there is still a lot to be gained with philosophy, vision, methods, and I feel that's what we do here at Fulham,” our Manager said.
“It was so totally new when we played with my new midfield; without Clint Dempsey, without Mousa Dembele, without Mahamadou Diarra, without Danny Murphy. Chris Baird came in and we had more touches than all of the other games last year so that means that we still have our culture. If you look at teams like Arsenal then I think the culture will always pull you through and I think we will do well with that.”