Jol insists on a winning start

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The Independent Football

Their 2-0 victory over Porto on Saturday was the last match of a successful pre-season build-up and with the added arrival of Edgar Davids on a free transfer from Internazionale, the fans are in expectant mood.

However, things have not all gone according to plan as last night the club were hit by an injury blow to the striker Mounir El Hamdaoui. He was injured after falling awkwardly 10 minutes from the end of their friendly win over Watford at Stevenage Borough.

Jol now expects the striker to be unavailable for a couple of weeks after damaging his ankle. Prior to the injury Jol was happy with the build-up but is clearly aware that much is expected of his side this season. He said: "Pre-season has been good. It is sometimes said - if you are superstitious - that if you win all the games you could have a bad start. Losing against Porto wouldn't have been so bad in terms of making sure we keep our feet on the ground.

"We played well in the first half and played some good football in the last 20 minutes. There were some positive things and Edgar Davids got a very good reception. Now he knows what the fans are like. We've got a great crowd and they appreciate it when players like him make the decision to come.

"We are now getting ready for the first game of the season against Portsmouth and it is always difficult. It is five weeks since we started and we're doing well. We start with an away game and it's always a tough game at Portsmouth. We are confident, but still have to work on minor things."