Manager Martin Jol conceded that Fulham looked a bit rusty as we fell to a 1-0 defeat to Werder Bremen, but promised we will improve.
Nils Petersen’s 55th minute strike was enough to seal a win for the Germans on home soil in our last away pre-season friendly, but Jol admitted it was down to the fact that we just did not match up on the day.
“They are a good team – not the best team in the Bundesliga – but normally they play at home and they are good,” he told the official website. “Over the past six months or so they have struggled a bit and we would have liked a better result against them, but it was probably our first real serious test and we go to Austria now and have to put a few things right.
“There were too many gaps between defenders and midfield and up front. We need pace and a little bit of quality. Berbatov was good, but he can’t do everything and we needed to get in behind. Mesca came on and looked good, he was probably our best player on the day even though he has only played with us twice. That was positive.”
However on the negative side, winger Alexander Kačaniklić was forced off early in the first half with a hamstring injury and may miss the start of the season now. Jol insisted that the Sweden international may be out for a while and that he hoped to be able to bring in a couple of new faces over the next few weeks.
“Kača has made a lot of big steps and progress with us,” Jol added. “But he had to come off with a hamstring injury. Hopefully it is not too bad, but he may be out for a couple of weeks. That is not what you want from pre-season, as you want to go the camp with all of your players fit. We managed that in Costa Rica, but not here today.
“The first priority for us, an English team against a Bundesliga team, was to win, but we didn’t manage it. Sometimes we can’t play the short balls in midfield because it puts you under pressure and to lose a game 1-0 due to a mistake by ourselves is not what we wanted. But we will work on that and hopefully we can do something in the next couple of weeks.
“We will try to get someone up front. We need a few more goals, since Clint [Dempsey] left we do not have enough goals in us, so we are working every day to get someone in. We have some high quality players in consideration and we would like another midfielder as well.”
Overall, Jol was disappointed with the result but is sure that the team can come back from Austria fitter than ever and that a few extra players will see us ready for the new Barclays Premier League season.
“Today we looked a bit rusty from the start,” he said. “But I can forgive the players at this stage as we will go to Austria and work hard, train hard and we will do something in the transfer market and be totally different by the start of the season.”