Fulham boss Martin Jol admitted a little bit of quality was key to the Whites earning an important 3-1 win over West Ham United on Wednesday night.
With both teams going into the game on the back of a poor run of form, victory would be a massive boost to the winners. And the Whites went in front on 10 minutes through Dimitar Berbatov, only for Kevin Nolan to level just after the break.
Hugo Rodallega restored Fulham’s lead 60 seconds later, though, and the Whites made sure of the win late on when Joey O’Brien turned in Mladen Petric’s shot.
“Sometimes you need a bit of luck and a bit of quality,” said Jol. “I thought we were good in the first half but then they scored the equaliser just after half-time. We didn’t pay attention from the free-kick and I was very happy to see the second goal go in.
“I wanted to get some balance for the last 15 minutes and I put Petric on because I had a strange feeling we’d need another goal. It was a vital win.”
The impressive Berbatov limped off late on with an apparent hamstring injury, although Jol believed the problem wasn’t serious.
“Dimitar had a problem with his hamstring and hopefully won’t be out for long,” said Jol. “It’s not a tear, it’s a minor injury. We’ll have him scanned and see what happens but he might miss the Manchester United game. If we win, people always say Berbatov was good, if we don’t win, it’s different. But he did well today with Hugo.”
Jol was able to name Simon Davies on the bench for the first time this season, while recent loan signing Emmanuel Frimpong was also an unused substitute.
“It’s very pleasing that Simon’s back,” stated Jol. “I thought it was necessary to involve him tonight. Frimpong joined us on Monday and had two sessions which wasn’t enough to assess his fitness and he hasn’t played a lot for Arsenal. Hopefully in the next couple of games he could make his debut.”
Finally, Jol confirmed that a loan deal for Holland international Urby Emanuelson from AC Milan was close to being finalised ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.
“It’s a loan, it’s not easy to get players from AC Milan on a permanent basis,” said Jol. “He’s a skilful player, he’s very mobile, quick. He can left midfield, wide or number 10. We need fresh legs and it will be until the end of the season. We want to strengthen the squad.”