Fulham manager Martin Jol has claimed his defenders ‘played like heroes’ in their 3-1 Premier League win over London rivals West Ham.
Jol said post-match that he thought West Ham would get stronger as the match wore on as they had not played in the FA Cup over the weekend.
As Fulham ran out of legs in the second half, the 57-year-old Dutchman was disappointed with how they failed to retain possession but was thrilled with his defensive unit’s resilience as West Ham stormed home.
“They (West Ham) didn’t play on Saturday and you could see that,” Jol told Sky Sports.
“I had a few tired players second half.
“The defenders played like heroes. (West Ham) put us under pressure.
“We said on the bench they would bully us and they scored straight away after half time.
“We didn’t pay attention and it’s not the first time.
“Then we got the goal, which was great, but we couldn’t keep the ball and that’s what you want… but I’m a happy man because we needed these three points.”
With just one win in their previous seven games heading into Wednesday’s fixture, Fulham were drawing dangerously close to the relegation battle but have now opened up an eight-point gap to the drop zone.
Jol changed Fulham’s formation against West Ham, pairing Dimitar Berbatov and Hugo Rodallega up front and was pleased with the results as both scored goals.
“We needed a striker today to play off the shoulder and to stretch them because we analysed them,” Jol said.
“And obviously we knew what happened at their place when Berbatov came on and we played much better so we did the same today.”
West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald slammed referee Chris Foy, arguing his team deserved two penalties after half-time.
“We were disappointed that we’re not putting the chances away at the minute,” McDonald said.
“That seems to be costing us as well as refereeing decisions… we created some good chances and felt we should have two penalties in the second half.”