Fulham boss Martin Jol told the gathered media that he was pleased with the new signings he was able to bring to the Club on transfer deadline day.
Urby Emanuelson, Eyong Enoh and Stanislav Manolev all joined the Whites on Thursday and Jol was happy that he was able to add depth to his squad.
“It’s a difficult month for a lot of clubs but, in the end, although it was not easy, we were quite satisfied,” he said. “We had targeted on the left and defensive midfield [as areas to strengthen] and it came off. So I was quite happy.
“I had a few options - we went for a few players and there were more horses to bet on. In the end, Urby Emanuelson is a player I know very well from AC Milan – he’s no mug so I was happy to get him.
“I was talking to Tom Huddlestone from my old club Tottenham Hotspur – that didn’t come off and Enoh was here already because you can’t bet on one horse so I was happy to get him in. We were very close to getting Huddlestone but they pulled out at the last moment so I was very happy that Enoh was in the building and there was no damage done.
“We wanted to get a few players in because I thought it was necessary to have some fresh blood, and that is what we did so that was good. Urby was on my list and I know Enoh very well. He’s a warrior – maybe a little erratic but a good warrior and he wanted to come to England. Emanuelson is a bit like [Mousa] Dembélé – he can play, he’s quick, he’s agile, he’s mobile, so that is what we need.
“We didn’t spend a lot. We took three players on loan and I felt that we needed these players. Huddlestone was another player we wanted on loan. So, in the end, although you gamble, I don’t think we spent a lot so I feel we did well again.
“Hopefully in the future we can extend these contracts and get some permanent deals as well to get a stable club and a settled club because it’s not what you want, to get loan deals all the time.”
One player who was set for a temporary spell away from Fulham was Pajtim Kasami, before an unusual turn of events saw a loan move to Italy fall through.
“Pajtim Kasami was wanted by Pescara at the last moment, so it was late,” Jol explained. “Kasami’s manager had 15 minutes and the internet wasn’t working. It happens to me all the time when I’m in a hotel but it’s not what you want if you have to register a player at the last moment.
“You hope and pray for him because he wanted to play and Pescara told us that he will probably be a vital part of their squad and in the end it didn’t come off. It was bad luck. I will try to do something because he deserves to play. There has not been a lot of opportunity to play so hopefully I can find something for him because he is a good talent.”
Manchester United are the visitors to Craven Cottage on Saturday (5.30pm) and Jol was dealt a blow in midweek by the news that former Red Devil Dimitar Berbatov will play no part in the match.
“Berbatov will not be fit for the game at the weekend,” he said. “He pulled his hamstring and we hope that he’ll only take between seven and 10 days to recover. Kieran Richardson is still out with his calf.
“Steve Sidwell will be out as he’s got a problem with his knee and that will probably take a week. [Mahamadou] Diarra is still out with his knee injury and Kerim Frei probably won’t be back for another three or four weeks.
“Enoh hasn’t got a work permit so that is unfortunate and Manolev hasn’t got a work permit because it was late, very late. Urby will be in the squad.”
Fulham go into the game on the back of a morale-boosting 3-1 victory over West Ham United on Wednesday and our Manager admits it was a crucial win over our London rivals.
“That was good – we prepared the players for that,” he said. “We knew that we had to play Man United on Saturday – every point against them is a bonus but we needed that win against West Ham.
“It was very good to have the three points because all these teams below will try to drag Fulham – or any other team which is vulnerable – in. Now West Ham are in a similar position and that is exactly what we wanted.
“You do sometimes wonder where your next win in coming from but there are seven or eight clubs who think the same. If you compare these other clubs, they are no different – you have to get your wins anyway.
“It’s not that we are on 50 points. We’ve got 28 points so it’s not good but it’s not bad either so the only thing is that you have to pick up points. We’ve had a lot of draws and that is the most disappointing thing; at home against Wigan Athletic, Southampton.
“The line between failure and success is unbelievably thin and we could have had more [points], but we could have had less as well. Hopefully we will pick up a few wins as soon as possible to get out of our current situation.”
A win on Saturday would be monumental for the Whites but Jol urged caution ahead of our meeting with the most successful side in Premier League history.
“I think we’re playing the champions-elect this weekend,” he said. “They are seven points clear so they are the big favourites.“Robin van Persie has been the most productive player in England this season and he was the most productive player before that so it’s always good to have a player like him because he will make the difference almost every other game.”