Fulham Manager Martin Jol is hoping the 2-1 defeat of West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on New Year’s Day will provide a platform for his side to build from.
The Whites impressed as goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Alexander Kacaniklic secured a second away win of the season and ended a four-game winless run.
“I’m delighted with the result and the three points,” said Jol to fulhamfc.com. “We started the game very well, and played some good football in the first-half. We put a lot of pressure on West Brom, and as a result, we got a good goal.
“Perhaps we lacked a bit of aggression up front when going in search of a second and they [West Brom] took advantage of that, by changing their formation and getting their fans behind them.
“We conceded a bit of a soft goal, but thankfully we managed to pick things up again. We got on the ball in midfield and over the course of the 90 minutes I think it was a deserved victory.”
Jol’s charges bounced back from Saturday’s home defeat against Swansea City. Despite losing 2-1 at Craven Cottage, Fulham showed a positive second-half response and seemingly carried that positivity in to Tuesday afternoon’s encounter – the first Barclays Premier League fixture of 2013.
“It was an important win because we needed the points,” added Jol. “Our last win came against Newcastle a few weeks back, so it was a good day for us. It was also a win away from home - the last time we did that was against Wigan in September.
“I was very happy for David Stockdale too. He was unlucky against Swansea, and was very disappointed for his part in the second goal. But he’s a fantastic goalkeeper and I think he responded really well today. I was very happy for him and the rest of the boys.
“It was our first game in 2013 and to get the New Year off to a winning start was fantastic.”
Fulham face Blackpool in the Third Round of the FA Cup this coming Saturday, with Jol confident his side can use the defeat of West Bromwich Albion to push on.
“The league is very tight and we still need five or six wins,” he said. “We know that we are not in a great position, but we know we have the capabilities to move forward.
“The return of Bryan Ruiz (pictured) has been a big boost and we will hopefully have Damien Duff and Mladen Petric back soon as well. When we have a full squad we are a very good team.”