Martin Jol determined to end four-match losing streak at Fulham
The Cottagers are not yet safe from relegation
Friday 10 May 2013
Manager Martin Jol is determined that Fulham finish the season with a flourish after a four-match losing streak.
The Cottagers need west London neighbours Chelsea to beat Aston Villa tomorrow before their Barclays Premier League safety is mathematically assured.
Whatever the outcome of the match at Villa Park, Jol wants his side to complete the season - fixtures with Liverpool, on Sunday, and Swansea - on a high.
"It was early April that we had 40 points; we had that point against Aston Villa [on April 13]," Jol said.
"I knew it was very important to be on 40 points, when you saw the schedule ahead of us with Chelsea and Arsenal, Newcastle, away games, Everton.
"Of course, you can imagine we were a bit concerned, but the 40 points gave us a bit of a cushion.
"It still is a little bit of a cushion, but mathematically we're still not safe yet.
"We will focus on ourselves to try to get a result to be safe.
"The Wigan result helped and of course we need a result, but you depend on other games as well.
"We will look at other results and even when the results are going for us we have to try to finish the season on a very good note."
A summer of change is expected at Craven Cottage, with numerous players out of contract or returning to their parent clubs.
Jol hopes on-loan Cologne right-back Sascha Riether, who is available following an ankle problem, is not among them and is back at Fulham next term.
"Sascha is my right-back and if he's fit he will play," said Jol, hinting Fulham will take up their option on the German.
"Sascha was one of the better players this season. Of course we would like to keep him."
Striker Dimitar Berbatov has again been linked with a summer switch and Jol dismissed the prospect once more.
Jol said: "That is not the worry I've got. He's got another year [on his contract]. That is not a concern at all."
Jol plans to meet with Fulham owner Mohamed Al-Fayed to discuss recruitment plans for next season.
He said: "You need a lot of money to buy four or five players. If eight or nine or 10 players are leaving a club, you need at least five or six to come in.
"Hopefully we're able to do that. Otherwise we have to be very creative again."
Defeat to relegated Reading extended Fulham's winless streak to six matches; their most recent victory was against QPR on April 1.
Jol hopes Berbatov will be back to his creative best against Liverpool after a poor display against the Royals.
Jol added: "The last game wasn't his best game - it was one of our worst performances - and he admitted it after the game. He has to do better."
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