Round-Up: Martin Jol defends record after Fulham's winless run goes on


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The Independent Football

Martin Jol defended his record as Fulham manager after a deserved 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff City on Saturday.

Fulham, whose last home win in the Premier League was against Queen’s Park Rangers on 1 April, failed to follow up the Capital One Cup victory over Everton by defeating Cardiff, as the Welshmen claimed their first away win in the Premier League.

Jol, whose contract expires at the end of this season, guided Fulham to ninth and 12th-placed finishes in his first two campaigns, but his side are now in the relegation zone and he was booed after Saturday’s match.

The Dutchman said: “We have to do better, but I can’t go on the pitch and do it myself. I take responsibility because I took all these players on board. It’s not about me. If you’re in the bottom three or four you’re under pressure. I try to make people happy and most of the time I’ve done that.”

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert has hailed Saints’ fine start to the new season but stressed that they must continue to improve if they are to finish anywhere near their current fifth place.

The England international scored the hosts’ second goal in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at St Mary’s, just two minutes after strike partner Dani Osvaldo grabbed his first Southampton goal.

“A good start is important to any team in any season, but just because we’ve done well doesn’t necessarily mean we can lay off a little bit,” Lambert said. “It’s very nice [to be so high], so let’s try to stay there now. It’s early doors, so we’ve got to push on so we can stay there.”

The Hull City manager Steve Bruce has rejected Sam Allardyce’s claims that Robbie Brady dived to win the decisive penalty in Saturday’s 1-0 win over West Ham.

Allardyce, the West Ham manager, made the accusation after Brady went down in a slight coming together with Joey O’Brien and picked himself up to convert the penalty.

“There was contact – how big or not, I don’t know,” Bruce said. “I’m not going to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. If I caught any of my players trying to cheat – and that’s what it is, let’s not beat around the bush – I would punish them.”