Martin Jol was pleased to see his Fulham side end their tour of Costa Rica with a win over Deportivo Saprissa on Saturday – albeit following a penalty shoot-out.
Goals from Bryan Ruiz and Hugo Rodallega had seen the match go to penalties in the tightest game the Whites had played all week, although the Fulham Manager was quick to praise the quality of all three opposition teams.
“I thought the other game [Alajuelense] was very close as well,” he said. “Of course, this was our last game of the week so we looked a bit tired. They were fresh, they’re a good team actually and they were missing three or four who are with the national team, so all credit to them.
“This team tried to create chances and had a few players that I liked; the midfield players, the young player number 21 [Diego Estrada]. We were happy to win this game as well, the last game of the week, so we are pretty satisfied.”
“This is our second week, we started early on the 8th July, and came to Costa Rica and from the first day the spirit was good because the facilities were good, people are unbelievable and, of course, Bryan comes from here.
“So for us it’s good because I didn’t really know about the level. The first game, second game and this one, they’re good teams and we didn’t underestimate them.
“We saw maybe eight, nine, 10 very good players here so it was a very good exercise and we could train well and we played good games, all the players were involved. It was almost perfect.”
With the start of the Barclays Premier League season now less than a month away, Jol admitted that he is still looking to bring some potential new faces to SW6 to help Fulham in their quest to finish in the top half of the table.
“We are still looking for one or two players to make it 100 percent,” he explained. “You saw 22, 23 players and they did their best.
“We would like to be in the top 10. We were a bit unlucky last year because we missed a lot of players – Mousa Dembele went, then of course top scorer Clint Dempsey went and Danny Murphy, then Mahamadou Diarra was injured.“Steve Sidwell was suspended for seven games, so it was too much probably on the shoulders of Bryan and I feel this year will be our year again as we have good quality and I feel that we are very positive.”