Team spirit will see Fulham escape relegation mire, says Martin Jol

Fulham take on Norwich at Carrow Road this weekend

Martin Jol has called for his Fulham side to show spirit to consolidate their position clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

The Cottagers play Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday, with the loser potentially dragged into the relegation mix.

"If you leave it until the end of the season you've always got a problem; you don't want that," Jol said.

"What I always say is get to 35, 36 points as soon as possible, before the last couple of months of the season.

"We need four, five wins, and 40 points is the focus and target for us.

"I have been in this business longer than most managers and abroad you can say the bottom three at winter are likely to go down.

"But in England there are always surprises."

Fulham have three wins in eight games in 2013, are 13th, level on points with the 14th-placed Canaries, and, on 28 points, seven clear of the relegation zone.

But Jol is wary of Premier League precedent, with Birmingham relegated in the season when they won the Carling Cup and Blackpool going down after challenging for Europe earlier in the same 2010-11 campaign.

"With the amount of points we've got now, you go down," the Dutchman added.

"You need fighting spirit in every game. This is the highest level and we want to get out of trouble as soon as possible, like seven, eight, nine other teams.

"You need very good spirit to do that and if you look at the other teams, they've certainly got that. If you look at the likes of Reading, winning games, Southampton, looking good, and, of course, Norwich are dragged into it.

"Everyone is still aware of the fact they need to win as soon as possible."

Fulham lost 1-0 to Manchester United last weekend in a match which descended into darkness for a short spell due to a floodlight failure. An investigation is ongoing.

Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov missed out against his former club with a hamstring problem and will undergo a fitness test to determine if he can play at Norwich.

"I think and hope that he will be in the squad," said Jol, for whom Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Kerim Frei (pelvis) are confirmed absentees.

"If not, Urby (Emanuelson) will probably start. In an ideal world, I don't think he will start."

Emanuelson was one of three deadline day arrivals after signing on loan from AC Milan.

Stanislav Manolev and Eyong Enoh are unavailable as they wait for their work permits, but Steve Sidwell (knee) and Kieran Richardson (calf) are available again, bringing much-needed Premier League experience.

"That is the most important thing for a club like ourselves, to have Premier League experience because if you don't you could end up with a problem," Jol added.

Key defender Brede Hangeland shrugged off an Achilles ache, which forced him off at half-time against United and required a scan, to travel with Norway in midweek, but Bryan Ruiz is still to return to London from international duty with Costa Rica.

"We had 12 players away on international duty and that is awful. Norwich had two or three so we have to consider that problem," Jol added.

Nothing has changed over Hangeland's future, with a contract extension offered to the captain, whose current deal expires at the end of the season.

"It's a status quo situation and hopefully he will change his mind and sign," Jol said.

Jol dismissed suggestions Fulham were interested in Louis Saha before the Frenchman signed for Lazio and is determined to hold on to Swedish midfielder Alexander Kacaniklic despite reported interest from Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine.

"The transfer window over there is still open but we won't let him go anyway," Jol said.

He also intends to retain the services of Sascha Riether, who is on a season-long loan from Cologne.

"We've got an option on him and I think we will take it so he will probably stay here," Jol said.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform