Fulham appoint Martin Jol as manager

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The Independent Football

New Fulham manager Martin Jol cannot wait for the chance to have another crack at the Barclays Premier League and will waste no time in adding to his squad at Craven Cottage.

The 55-year-old former Tottenham boss has agreed an initial two-year contract with the option of a further 12 months and replaces Mark Hughes, who resigned last Thursday after just one season at the helm.

Jol saw his hopes of taking charge of Fulham following Roy Hodgson's departure a year ago blocked by Ajax, but having left the Dutch club in December, he is relishing a second opportunity in the English top flight.

"I am very happy to be back and especially at a club like Fulham," Jol told the club's official website, http://www.fulhamfc.com.

"I remember coming here with Tottenham and I even think I played here when I was a player. Craven Cottage is a real football stadium, I loved going to Fulham.

"I could have gone to other countries, but I was waiting for the opportunity to come back to England."

Jol will already have an idea about some of the players he has inherited, but also revealed he had started looking at bringing players in in what will be a shortened summer break ahead of the Europa League qualifiers.

"There are a few players here I still know from my time at Tottenham, like Simon Davies, Danny Murphy and Stephen Kelly - they are all very good professionals," the former West Brom and Coventry midfielder added.

"I enjoy watching Fulham and I enjoy watching players like Moussa Dembele, who I have known for a while.

"Yesterday we had a good conversation about players and where we can try to strengthen and get one or two quality players."

Fulham had been linked with a £10million move for Espanyol striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, and chairman Mohamed Al Fayed would appear ready to back his new manager.

"I would like to welcome Martin Jol to Fulham. He understands my vision for the club, and believes in what we are striving to achieve here," Al Fayed said.

"I know that he will dedicate himself to helping us move forward, and is with us for the long term, to help us build and progress.

"We have enjoyed three incredibly successful years, and my hopes and dreams for this club are for that journey to continue.

"I know that with his wealth of experience and success, Martin is the right man to help us do this."

Jol, though, could face a battle to keep forward Clint Dempsey, with the American suggesting he was now eager for a taste of Champions League football, while out-of-contract midfielder Zoltan Gera has indicated he would be open to a return to former club West Brom.

The new Fulham manager will have to work quickly to get his squad in shape ahead of the start of their Europa League qualifying campaign at the end of the month. The west London club were awarded a place in the competition via the UEFA Fair Play standings.

A potential eight games stand between Fulham and a place in the group stages, which start in mid-September.

Despite the prospect of a shortened summer break, defender Philippe Senderos has no issue with the early return to business, having missed most of last season with an Achilles injury.

The Swiss centre-back said: "The end of the season came a bit too soon for me, but we are going to have a short summer.

"We come back on June 23, but that is fine for me as I was out for a while."