Jol urges Fulham to keep derby focus

 

Fulham manager Martin Jol wants his team's focus to be on defeating west London rivals QPR tomorrow rather than the occasion of coming up against Bobby Zamora and Mark Hughes for the first time.

The Cottagers have not lost to their near neighbours since 1983 and thrashed them 6-0 earlier in the season. Zamora scored in that Craven Cottage game but has now switched to QPR, who are under the stewardship of former Fulham manager Hughes.

Both men are expected to be the centre of attention from Fulham's visiting fans, but manager Jol says he is only interested in coming away with three points. "In the first game against QPR you felt the sort of feeling that this was new," the Dutchman said. "It was a derby game and I feel if you look at the reactions after the game from our fans, it is a big game now and in the future.

"In the past I think it was a good derby game, but it is now probably a bigger derby game than Chelsea.

"We have a lot of supporters going there, we focus on that and we will focus on our away form because that is not great. If you look at the form positively, you can say we didn't lose six out of the 12 away games but it is not the best away form."

Asked about Zamora, Jol added: "Bobby deserves praise because he played for us and was a very good servant for the club. Hopefully the QPR fans will think the same of him in a few years. [But] I always want to focus our fans on our team."

While Zamora left on transfer deadline day for a £6m-plus fee, Jol managed to bring in a replacement in the form of Pavel Pogrebnyak. The Russia international joined from Stuttgart until the end of the season and made an immediate impact in west London, scoring 16 minutes into his debut against Stoke.

Jol feels he will fill a different role from Zamora, though. "They are both No 9s and of course Bobby did a good job for us and hopefully Pavel can do that same," he said. "Bobby is a different player, more of a link-up player, while Pavel wants to be in the box and on the end of crosses. Keeping him beyond the end of the season is something for us to think about over the next couple of months. There is no option on both sides so we will have to wait and see."

There had been fears Pogrebnyak would be unable to feature at Loftus Road after limping off in the second half of the win against Stoke, but Jol reported him fit to play along with several other doubtfuls. "Most of the injured players are fit," he said. "There are two players out – Steven Sidwell after a small operation and Zdenek Grygera – but the rest are fit for selection. Philippe Senderos, Orlando Sa and Andrew Johnson are all back and Pavel is fit."

Another player returning to action, though with a different reason for his absence, is Cheick Tioté for Newcastle, who welcome Wolves tomorrow – with Alan Pardew warning the managerless visitors not to expect the Ivorian to be suffering from any African Cup of Nations hangover.

The 25-year-old Tioté was part of the Ivory Coast side which went toe-to-toe with Zambia in an enthralling final before ultimately losing 8-7 in a penalty shoot-out. Tioté was so heartbroken that he gave away his loser's medal, and Pardew has revealed some of his club-mates have been made to pay since his return to Tyneside.

Had his midfield enforcer been adversely affected by the experience, the manager was asked? "It doesn't look like it. He has kicked everybody so far, so I think he has got it out of his system this week. One or two of our players have had to take the brunt of that. I think he will be all right [by tomorrow]."

Tioté 's presence in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon meant he missed seven Newcastle games, and while United remain firmly in touch with the Premier League's top four, there is little doubt he was missed in particular at Fulham and Tottenham, where they conceded five times on both occasions.

With Tioté's central midfield partner Yohan Cabaye back after his three-match ban, Pardew is confident of a solid defensive showing. He said: "They are great players – one won the Double last year in France, and the other almost won the African Cup – and they have proven that week in, week out for us. It's important that we put in a performance that justifies where we are in the division."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore