Tottenham deserve Champions League place says Fulham manager Martin Jol

 

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The Independent Football

Martin Jol would take no pleasure from ruining Tottenham's Champions League ambitions if his Fulham side win at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Jol knows more than most about how desperate Spurs are to join Europe's elite having been set the target of a top-four finish during his last full season in charge.

Spurs fell agonisingly short, losing to West Ham on the final weekend which allowed Arsenal to leapfrog them and claim the last Champions League place.

A Fulham victory would secure a club record Barclays Premier League points tally of 55 and a seventh-placed finish, but Jol admitted it is Spurs who are under all the pressure.

Asked how he would feel if Fulham denied Tottenham a place in Europe's top competition, Jol said: "Bad. I feel Spurs need to play in the Champions League.

"You can't blame me for wanting the three points to get to 55 points.

"There is no pressure on us. We are in a fine position. We wanted to finish in the top 10.

"They are a very good footballing team and there is a lot to play for for them. They will be emotional."

Jol will be returning to White Hart Lane this weekend for the first time since he left Tottenham in October 2007, in the immediate aftermath of a UEFA Cup defeat to Getafe.

The writing had been on the wall for some time after it emerged club officials had met Juande Ramos immediately after Jol had failed to deliver Champions League football.

The Tottenham squad had been hit by food poisoning in the build-up to the match but failed in their bid to postpone the fixture.

"We were in fourth position for a long time. We had to go to West Ham. Arsenal played at home," Jol recalled.

"We ended up fifth. That was the first time they were above us. I could write a nice chapter over the events that day.

"This is the first time I have been back there.

"They like what I did there. I like the place. I like the club. It is in my heart, as Fulham is."

Jol also revealed the club had received no bids for Clint Dempsey or Moussa Dembele - and he made it clear none would be welcome as Fulham look to strengthen for next season.

"There are no clubs who have come in for bids. Even if they put a bid in they are not for sale," Jol said.

"Of course you worry because I want to keep my best players. If we can do that and add two or three, we could have a very good squad.

"I feel they still will be here (next season)."

Jol added that talks with out-of-contract players Danny Murphy, Andy Johnson and Stephen Kelly will begin next week.

PA

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