Fulham v Cardiff City: Martin Jol hopes for change of luck - and three points this weekend

The Cottagers have not won in the league since the opening day of the season

Martin Jol is aware success and failure in the Barclays Premier League is determined by fine margins and hopes, for once this season, luck is on the side of Fulham against Cardiff on Saturday.

The Cottagers beat Everton in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday to end a six-match winless sequence at home, but are still chasing a second league win of the season following the opening-day defeat of Sunderland.

"The difference between being successful and not is nothing," said Jol, who was booed following Fulham's most recent home league game, the draw with West Brom.

"If we had won the game against West Brom, we would've been in the top half of the table."

Instead, Fulham enter this weekend's fixtures lying in the relegation zone.

Yet Jol is boosted by the prospect of fielding on-loan Aston Villa striker Darren Bent up front alongside Dimitar Berbatov, having had limited opportunity to do so in the early weeks of the season.

Fulham are without first-choice goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (shoulder), winger Ashkan Dejagah (calf) and defender Matthew Briggs (hernia), but defender Aaron Hughes (thigh) and midfielder Bryan Ruiz (ankle) could return if they pass fitness tests.

Jol has confidence the temporary move for Bent will pay dividends this term, with the England striker's start yielding two goals, despite being curtailed by injury.

The recruitment of Bent was better business, according to Jol, than Cardiff's big-money deal for Andreas Cornelius, who was signed on a reported £8million deal from FC Copenhagen.

"We knew him (Cornelius)," Jol said. "He was on our shadow list, but I thought it was not only too much, but we couldn't afford to buy him.

"We've got Bent. That is probably not long-term, because he will go back to Aston Villa, probably.

"During the time he (Bent) is here, hopefully he will score goals and hopefully more than Cornelius."

Jol hopes Cardiff's open approach will aid his side, but he is also wary of the newly-promoted Welshmen.

"If you look at Cardiff, they're very organised," Jol said.

"They've got pace up front and they've always got some activity. They'd like to hurt you.

"It's not a walkover, of course not. It's a strong team with good qualities. They've invested a few bob as well.

"It won't be easy, but how many games are easy in the league?

"It's never easy. They will come at you, they will try to have a go.

"You get more space and normally it's easier. If you get more space with the players we've got - and we've got some space up front now - hopefully we can make it easier for ourselves.

"If not, I can live with a narrow win as well.

"Hopefully we are strong enough."

Like Jol, Sweden winger Alex Kacaniklic knows the quality of Cardiff, who beat Manchester City earlier in the season.

"Cardiff are a good side and they have shown that already with good results," Kacaniklic said.

"We go into every game with the same mentality, to win the game and play our football.

"I saw the game against Manchester City and that shows that they are a very good side. They are good on the counter and work hard."

Kacaniklic hopes for successive wins.

"If you keep winning, everybody gets used to winning," he added.

"We won (on Tuesday), three points on Saturday and then we have another home game, so that could be another three points."

PA

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on