Martin Jol backs Bryan Ruiz to shine at Fulham

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The Independent Football

Fulham manager Martin Jol insists Bryan Ruiz will come good in time.

The 26-year-old £10million deadline-day signing from FC Twente has yet to find the net for the Cottagers.

And although he impressed in the Carling Cup tie at Chelsea in midweek, it was his spot-kick which hit the bar as Fulham exited the competition on a penalty shoot-out.

Despite the setback, which came shortly after he was hauled off at half-time on his debut at home to Blackburn, Ruiz claimed he "felt really good" after the game at Stamford Bridge.

Jol insists there is no point in trying to rush things with any player new to the hustle and bustle of the Barclays Premier League.

"When he signed I said 'give him three weeks' which was of course a joke. I feel 50% of the foreigners will not do well, it is very difficult when you come to this country. There is a group of players who need a couple of months, or even a year," Jol said.

"Bryan Ruiz is a quality player - don't forget Moussa Dembele needed seven or eight months to be the player he is now."

Jol added: "Of course I have to be patient with him and so do the fans - you have to have the same attitude with all the foreigners.

"We have got four good offensive players and Bryan can get all the time in the world if everybody is fine [fit].

"It is not about Ruiz, it is about the team.

"If you look at all the good teams, they have six or eight offensive players.

"In a year's time, it is important for me that you can look at his statistics, his productivity and then you will see Bryan Ruiz will be up there with our best players."

Fulham head into tomorrow's match at West Brom boosted by last weekend's battling draw with Manchester City, where they had trailed 2-0 just moments into the second half.

However, Jol's side have yet to record a league win, with two defeats from five.

The Cottagers are third from bottom, while West Brom prop everyone else up, with three points but an inferior goal difference.

Jol, however, is not concerned by the table at this point.

"I feel that we should have won our home games," added the Dutchman.

"We had two points - two draws - instead of six points, but you play for the results and you need the results in the Premier League.

"If you don't get them, you have to battle and fight for better results, so we have try to do that at West Brom."

Midfielder Steve Sidwell is under no illusions as to just how tough the top flight has now become.

"As the years go by and the Premier League gets stronger, three points is harder to come by - there are no gifts in this league so we have to work hard to get every point," he told the club's official website, www.fulhamfc.com.

"The Hawthorns is always a tough place to go, and with them being at the bottom of the table their crowd's going to be right behind them and getting their players motivated.

"But that's an incentive for us to go there, quieten the home fans down a bit, to try and stamp our authority on the game."

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