Manager Reaction

Saturday 28 September 2013 18:20

Fulham boss Martin Jol called for calm despite seeing his side suffer a last-gasp 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City on Saturday.

Trailing 1-0 to Steven Caulker’s 12th-minute header, the Whites hauled themselves level when substitute Bryan Ruiz curled home a sublime strike just before the break moments after entering the fray.

With the game heading for a draw, Fulham then suffered late agony as Cardiff substitute Jordon Mutch controlled a long punt forward from a free-kick and fired a brilliant effort from 25 yards into the far corner of the net past the despairing dive of David Stockdale.

Some of the natives were restless at the final whistle and speaking afterwards, Jol said: “The same happened against West Bromwich Albion when we conceded in the 93rd minute. Of course, you talk about it in training. The fans expect us to do better. If you look at the players we’ve got; Darren Bent, Dimitar Berbatov, Bryan Ruiz, Adel Taarabt… but now it’s late September and we have to play together.

“Cardiff played better than us after 1-0 but when we made changes we got back in it. Then we looked better and Cardiff had to change their system to deal with us. Even in the final minutes, Kieran Richardson put a cross in and no-one was there to tap it in.

"Of course, you can always concede a goal and unfortunately it happened. I thought it was a soft free-kick against Dimitar Berbatov and then Kieran tries to get between the player [Mutch] and the ball and didn’t. A draw would have still been awful.”

Although the season is still in its infancy, the result leaves Fulham in the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League. And Jol, who confirmed Scott Parker had suffered a calf injury early on against Cardiff, continued: “It’s early in the season but I take responsibility. I can’t say the players don’t work hard but it’s not easy to win games. It’s not only about mentality, it’s about quality and you have to defend, especially corner-kicks.

“All the teams want to do better. Our fans want us in the top 10 and if you look at the games, they’ve all been close. At Newcastle United, we conceded a late winner and West Bromwich Albion was the same when they scored a late equaliser.

"We haven’t had the rub of the green. I’m always calm but I hate it when people get worried and nervous. I don’t want to see the Club at the bottom of the table. I know we can do a lot better. We had all the size in the world today but we still lost headers at the far post.”

The Manager added: “I think we will be okay but you have to win these games and we didn’t. Fulham have been down there before. I remember Clint Dempsey scoring against Liverpool and Danny Murphy’s header at Portsmouth. I think we’ve done remarkably well to have more points than, for example, Swansea City over the last few years. People don’t appreciate it, but it’s true.”