Capital One Cup: Martin Jol in search of boost for Fulham ahead of Everton tie
An all-Premier League meeting will take place at Craven Cottage
Monday 23 September 2013
Fulham boss Martin Jol is seeking a morale-boosting Capital One Cup victory in the all-Premier League clash with Everton at Craven Cottage on Tuesday night.
The Cottagers will bid to respond from Saturday's 2-0 west London derby loss at Chelsea by ending a six-match winless run at home.
The last time Fulham were in action at Craven Cottage they were on course for victory over West Brom, only to concede a stoppage-time equaliser which led to a smattering of booing from the home support at the full-time whistle.
"We need a win," said Jol, whose side beat Sunderland on the opening day and defeated Burton Albion in the Capital One Cup second round for their only wins of the campaign.
"It's good for the spirit of the team if we get back to winning games.
"We played three away matches in the first five in the league. That wasn't easy.
"Against Arsenal (at home), for example, we would like to have got a result and we didn't.
"The West Bromwich game was very important for us and they scored in the final minute of added time. That was a draw."
While many top-flight bosses use the League Cup as an opportunity to rotate their squad, Jol is planning to send out a full-strength line-up which could be bolstered by the returns of striker Dimitar Berbatov, defender Aaron Hughes and midfielder Bryan Ruiz.
Berbatov (hamstring), Hughes (thigh) and Ruiz (ankle) missed the trip to Stamford Bridge, along with defender Matthew Briggs (hernia) and first-choice goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (shoulder), who are both still out.
"In our situation I would like to play as many (first-choice) players as possible," Jol said.
Jol may have the opportunity to pair the enigmatic Berbatov with Darren Bent, whose lack of match sharpness was illustrated when he fluffed a one-on-one opportunity to give Fulham the lead at Stamford Bridge.
The duo have scarcely played together in the opening weeks of the season - they did so against Arsenal, when substitute Bent scored, and at Newcastle, when the on-loan Aston Villa striker was injured - but could form a potent strike force.
Jol added: "Bent is fit, but Bent didn't play a lot of games for Aston Villa. That is another thing you have to try to put right.
"Also Hugo (Rodallega) was injured over the last two weeks. The time that he played he scored against Burton in the cup.
"Hopefully we can get him fit in the next couple of weeks, Bryan Ruiz comes back and Berbatov, hopefully, and there's more goals in us."
A young player waiting for an opportunity up front is Buomesca Tue Na Bangna, who made his debut against former club Chelsea.
The 20-year-old is eager for another opportunity, either against Everton or on Saturday against Cardiff.
"I want to play in every game, just like everyone else, and prove that I deserve to play," he told fulhamfc.com.
"We have to keep our heads up and we'll be looking to win both of our games this week - I hope we can do that."
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