Martin Jol concerned by Bobby Zamora unrest talk


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The Independent Football

Fulham manager Martin Jol admits the regularity of reports regarding Bobby Zamora's future is becoming a concern.

There has been mounting speculation over recent weeks that the pair's relationship is fraught, leading to suggestions the England international could leave Craven Cottage in January.

Jol has constantly batted back such talk and was forced to once again today after a report that Zamora was told to train with the reserves yesterday.

"No, there is no reserves yesterday because we have a game today," Jol said.

"We always train with a rest group (those not involved in the match against Bolton) so Aaron Hughes was there, [Pajtim] Kasami, [Marcel] Gecov. All the players who were not involved in the game.

"That is the normal thing to give them extra loading.

"I don't know what they are on about and it was not with the reserve team coaches.

"There is no rift, Bobby is Bobby.

"He was fine yesterday, he trained with all the players who didn't start.

"Those 14 did a session to load them, and he was fine."

The speculation has seen Zamora linked with a host of Barclays Premier League clubs, including QPR, Tottenham and Sunderland.

"I'm not concerned," Jol said. "For me it's not a big problem.

"I'm only concerned that this sort of thing is coming up all the time.

"I don't know but for me there is no problem."

Jol will be able to welcome Zamora back for tomorrow's match against Manchester United, having missed Saturday's 2-0 defeat of Bolton with a medial ligament injury in his left knee.

"We have always had that belief," Jol said of the Bolton victory.

"The only difference is we got the points and played well, scored a couple of goals and didn't concede.

"Obviously United can punish you and sometimes they will.

"Man United and Chelsea, for example, they have got the extra quality if you give them space.

"We allowed Bolton to have six or seven shots but you cannot allow the likes of Man United to do that.

"I think every game stands on itself. Liverpool was good, Man City was nice but Man United is probably different.

"You have to play to your strengths and that is what we will try to do and try to avoid them exploiting us with their quality.

"We had a 3-0 win and a 2-2 draw recently so we seem to do well against them.

"I think it could be coincidence but it could be our style as well."

While Zamora returns to face Sir Alex Ferguson's side, Steve Sidwell continues to miss out after a hernia operation and fellow midfielder Simon Davies has a back complaint.

"Sidwell is still not training with us so it's a bit of a blow," Jol added.

"He had his hernia operation and sometimes he can feel it in his hip then his groin and then stomach.

"It is a complex area and we try to do everything we can to get him back and the medical staff are quite positive he will join us next week.

"Mark Schwarzer is out for four to six weeks so it is good to have a very good keeper in David Stockdale and I feel the youngster Neil Etheridge is a very good goalkeeper.

"We haven't got a lot of injuries so that is a good situation to be in before the Christmas period."