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Jol targets vulnerable Norwich

Fulham manager Martin Jol believes Saturday’s clash against Norwich has come at a good time for his side.

Norwich are without a win in nine English Premier League games – having lost six of those – and host a Fulham outfit also stationed on 28 points.

Jol believes the upcoming meeting at Carrow Road represents an opportunity for Fulham to start climbing the table.

He told reporters: “Norwich had a very good spell after the first seven or eight games. We started very well then they had a very good period where they were awesome.

“Then, of course, they haven’t had the best of spells over the last eight, nine games so maybe it’s a good time to play them.

“But it is an away game and their home form, of course, is better than their away form. Hopefully we will get a result.”

The 57-year-old expects Dimitar Berbatov and Brede Hangeland to return for the game, and said he had few injury concerns.

“The only injuries are still Kerim Frei and Mahamadou Diarra – everyone else is fine,” Jol said.

“Brede had a little ache and pain on his Achilles but, after this weekend, it was good so he was able to go and play for his country (on Wednesday). We will make an assessment on Berbatov and I think, and hope, he will be in the squad.”

The Dutchman is eager to get close to the 40-point mark in order to avoid a late relegation fight.

Jol said: “We had Manchester City, Manchester United, and West Ham United in between when we got a very good result. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a point against Man United so we certainly need the points – like other teams.

“I think we deserved a point against United but they’ve got quality and there’s always, in these sorts of games, a mistake and you always hope and pray that you don’t get a goal against but we make one mistake and it’s a goal.

“I feel that if you leave it until the end of the season (to get points) then you are always going to have a problem, and you don’t want that – no club would want that.

“What I always feel is that if you’ve got 35, 36 points as soon as possible – before the last couple of months of the season – then you could be fine.

“But you need the points because with the amount we’ve got now, and other teams have got now, we’ll go down. So you need four or five wins and 40 points is a sort of focus, a target for us.

“I always say we will be fine and my skipper tells other players that we are fine, and we will be fine.

“We are on the same points as a lot of teams – even Stoke City – so everyone is still aware that they need to win as soon as possible.”

Thu 7 February, 2013
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