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Premier League

Martin Jol challenges Danny Murphy, Andy Johnson and Clint Dempsey to sign new Fulham deals


Fulham manager Martin Jol has challenged his out-of-contract stars to show the mental strength required to commit their future to the Cottagers.

Danny Murphy and Andy Johnson are both free agents at the end of the season, whilst Clint Dempsey has one more year on his present deal.

Jol wants all three to sign new contracts as he continues to reshape his squad.

Progress has been slow so far, although with the club's Premier League status virtually secure, negotiations may become slightly easier.

"If they are mentally strong they will stay with us," said Jol.

"If not, if they need to play or go somewhere else, we can go on with our transformation.

"We have five or six players who are different from last year but we are not there yet.

"The balance could be better at times and I want us to be a bit more aggressive at times.

"There are goals in us but for the last five or six years Fulham has not scored enough away from home, which is strange."


They could not muster one at Manchester United last night, although their task would have been eased considerably if referee Michael Oliver had spotted Michael Carrick fouling Danny Murphy inside the box a minute from time.

It continued a tale of Old Trafford woe for Jol, who has never secured an away win over United, having previously been denied seven years ago when, as Tottenham manager, he was on the wrong end of a famous goal that never was from Pedro Mendes.

"I have had a few things happen here," he said.

"It is always narrow but it never goes my way.

"What happened was exactly what we had in mind, to come away with a point.

"They had a couple of good chances but we should have had a draw at the end."