Fulham boss Martin Jol targets Premier League survival against Norwich City
Fulham boss Martin Jol believes beating Norwich will go a long way to securing the Cottagers' Premier League survival.
Jol's side would draw level with the Canaries on 39 points with victory tomorrow - and the Dutchman revealed that is par for course ahead of Fulham's final push.
'We're pretty close to where we want to be,' he said. 'Our first target was to have 40 points on the board because I feel that is enough this season to stay up and after that we'd like to have as many points on the board as possible. Maybe even 50 points. I think they've (Norwich) been fantastic. They've used a lot of players and have a similar record to us away from home but they're very strong at home. So I don't think there's a big difference between the teams, the only thing is they play in different systems and use more players.'
Fulham lost 3-0 to Swansea at home last time out, but Jol took plenty of encouragement from a brave display in the midweek defeat at champions Manchester United.
'When you play against Manchester United it's totally different,' said Jol. 'It's a difficult game but our organisation and shape was good and we were disciplined too.
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'We played in a more disciplined way and that was important but I still want us to play better and be more dynamic; more like we did in the first half. In the second half we had to wait until Bryan Ruiz came on and then we created something. I would love to do that at away games all the time.'
Experienced midfielder Danny Murphy was involved in a contentious late penalty claim at Old Trafford after the former Liverpool playmaker was widely adjudged to have been felled by Michael Carrick. Murphy, along with Andy Johnson, is one of a number of players out of contract in the summer across the Premier League – but Jol wants both to stay.
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'If they are mentally strong they will stay with us,' said Jol. 'If not, if they need to play or go somewhere else, we can go on with our transformation. We have five or six players who are different from last year but we are not there yet. The balance could be better at times and I want us to be a bit more aggressive at times.'
Jol is also prepared to give youth a major chance with teenager Kerim Frei a regular starter this season and Alex Kacaniklic from a loan spell at Watford for this weekend.
'That was with a purpose because he did ever so well at Watford so hopefully he will get a chance in our team. He'll be in the squad,' he said. 'There are other young players as well and if they are good enough, they will get their chance. Look at Kerim Frei, he's 18 years of age and playing against Manchester United.'