Manager Reaction

Saturday 27 October 2012 18:06

Martin Jol was left to rue two dropped points after the 3-3 draw at Reading.

Reading led 1-0 at the break through Mikele Leigertwood, but second-half goals from Bryan Ruiz and Chris Baird put Fulham in front, only for Garath McCleary to make it 2-2.

Dimitar Berbatov’s late effort looked set to give Fulham the points, but Royals substitute Hal Robson-Kanu bundled home in injury time to prevent the Whites departing with the win.

“If you saw the first half I thought we started off brightly but we didn’t play the ball forward enough for my liking,” said Jol afterwards. “We caused problems for ourselves on occasions by losing the ball and allowing them to break. Without playing very well they scored a great goal.

“The second half was a totally different story. We did exactly what we wanted to do; we played some good football, created chances and scored goals. And if you score three goals against a team like Reading then you should win the game.”

Berbatov curled home a sublime strike in the last few minutes to put the Whites in front and cap another impressive display.

“I thought it was the winner,” said Jol. “He can play midfield, he can play in the hole or up front. He showed a lot of character in the second half. He hurt his rib in the first half nut we asked him to play on.”

After Fulham let a 2-1 lead slip in their last away match at Southampton, there was more than a touch of déjà vu about the closing stages of the game at Reading.

“A couple of weeks ago we did the same against Southampton and maybe we need to be a bit cleverer,” mused Jol. “The referee gave them a free-kick and they were very eager to be on the end of it and we allowed them to score. We have to be better organised with free-kicks like that. You have to attack the ball and we didn’t.”

One plus for Fulham was the return of Ruiz from injury. The Costa Rican stepped off the bench in the second half, scoring a beauty and then setting up Baird’s goal.

“Bryan was probably one of our best players this season but then he got injured,” stated Jol. “But he’s the one who can create chances with a killer pass as he has great vision. Maybe he should play from the start next week.”