Martin Jol unveiled as Fulham manager
Tuesday 21 June 2011
New Fulham manager Martin Jol says he always harboured ambitions to return to English football after his spell in charge of Tottenham.
Jol was today unveiled as Mark Hughes' successor at Craven Cottage, having come close to joining the London club last summer.
Jol, who has been without a club since leaving Ajax last year, spent three years in charge of Tottenham between 2004 and 2007, and he is delighted to be back in the Barclays Premier League.
He said: "Everybody knew I would like to come back. I said that when I left, like Arnold Schwarzenegger I will be back, and I am back."
The Dutchman also revealed one of the main attractions in taking the Cottagers job was that he would be in charge of a club with a proud tradition.
"I think Fulham is a traditional club, like Spurs, West Ham and all the London clubs. They gave me a good feeling and when we played here (with Spurs) we had a couple of good results, and I like the colours, black and white as well.
"I could go on but Fulham are happy, I am happy, so hopefully we can keep it that way."
Jol's first game in charge will be against NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands in the first qualifying round of the Europa League on June 30, with the away leg following a week later.
Fulham got into the tournament due to their fair play record, and while Jol admits the early timing is not ideal he hopes having a competitive fixture will add bite to their pre-season preparations.
"This is only the second or third time Fulham have been in Europe, he said.
"So I could have said let's start (training) early in June but I thought it was a bad idea. You could consider it a friendly game with a serious touch."
Jol also said he had no frustrations about missing out on a move to Craven Cottage last summer, as Ajax refused to release him.
"Don't forget there was another problem last year as Ajax had to play in the Champions League qualifiers and there was no (release) clause and it was really difficult, but I think this was okay.
"We talked again a couple of weeks ago after Mark Hughes left and I had the same feeling and I made a decision to go back and talk to them and I decided to take the job."
The former Spurs boss insisted he harboured no hard feelings towards his old employers at White Hart Lane.
"I've got a very good relationship with [Tottenham chairman] Daniel [Levy]," he said.
"He looked after me, he always did. There's no hard feelings. Of course you'd like to stay - I would like to stay here for four, five years. Hopefully it's realistic.
"I was at Spurs three and a half years so that was probably a record so no hard feelings."
Jol refused to name possible transfer targets but reckons he will need four or five new signings to complement what he feels is already a decent squad.
"It's a good squad good, experienced players with a couple of young exciting players like [Moussa] Dembele who I know very well from Holland," he said.
"Four or five players left the club. We need strength in depth so we probably need a similar number of players - four or five."
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