Fulham boss Martin Jol hails Dimitar Berbatov

Dimit he do well Jol hails Berbatov: He did more than he's ever done

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UPDATED:

17:42 GMT, 15 September 2012

Fulham boss Martin Jol sang the praises of Dimitar Berbatov following his starring role in the 3-0 victory over West Brom and is hopeful he can fill the goalscoring void left by the departure of Clint Dempsey.

Berbatov struck a brace on his home debut as Jol's side eased to a comfortable victory over a Baggies team reduced to 10 men in the first half when Peter Odemwingie was sent off for kicking Sascha Riether.

Tucked away: Dimitar Berbatov struck his second goal from the spot

Tucked away: Dimitar Berbatov struck his second goal from the spot

Match facts

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Duff (Smith 90), Sidwell, Baird, Kacaniklic (Kasami 84), Berbatov, Rodallega. Subs not used: Stockdale, Kelly, Karagounis, Briggs, Trotta.

Scorers: Berbatov 32, 45, Sidwell 89.

West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob (Rosenberg 76), Odemwingie, Morrison, Fortune (Lukaku 46), Long (Brunt 46). Subs not used: Myhill, Dorrans, Gera, Dawson.

Sent off: Odemwingie.

Referee: Roger East.

Attendance: 25,691.

The first goal saw the 31-year-old
take control of the ball and bend it inside Ben Foster's post, with the
second coming from a penalty at the end of the first half.

Steve Sidwell added the third in the
89th minute to hand Fulham their second win of the season. As well as
opening his goalscoring account for Fulham, Berbatov also contributed
from a defensive point of view and Jol was happy with his all-round
performance.

'I think he did more than he has ever
done before in his life,' the Dutchman said. 'He was at the back, he
was in midfield, he was up-front and he scored a good goal so I was
happy.

'We had a young bench and that is why I was so pleased with Dimitar.'

After losing top goalscorer Dempsey
to Tottenham in the final hours of the transfer window, Jol is now
hoping former Manchester United frontman Berbatov can become the club's
new talisman.

Easy: Berbatov sent the keeper the wrong way

Easy: Berbatov sent the keeper the wrong way

'That is a challenge for him,' he said. 'I think he scored 23 goals when I had him at Spurs.

'I'm sure that if he is fit then he will do what Clint Dempsey did for us.'

With Dempsey and Mousa Dembele now
both plying their trade at White Hart Lane and Bryan Ruiz, Kieran
Richardson and Mahamadou Diarra all missing through injury, Jol had to
name an unfamiliar midfield four.

Dimit he do well: Martin Jol had high praise for Dimitar Berbatov after his starring role against West Brom

Dimit he do well: Martin Jol had high praise for Dimitar Berbatov after his starring role against West Brom

But Jol was full of praise for the
players who came into his starting line-up and knows they have to
maintain a high level of performance to make up for the players who left
over the course of the summer.

He said: 'It was important because
we lost our best players and our top goalscorer from the last couple of
seasons, so we had to do something and create a new identity in
midfield.

Exquisite: Berbatov curls home his first

Exquisite: Berbatov curls home his first

'My whole midfield was new, my front-line was new, (we played) a different system.

'I still feel we have to work hard to
get the same quality as we had last year with Danny Murphy and Dembele.
It was one of the best midfields in England.

'I was really pleased they stepped up
a gear to satisfy us. We lost five midfield players and no-one came in
so I was very pleased with Bairdy (Chris Baird) and (Steve) Sidwell.'

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke
tasted his first league defeat in charge of the Baggies and bemoaned
their start to the game as the main reason behind the loss.

He said: 'I was disappointed with the
way we started the game. I thought we allowed Fulham to get too much
control in the game, we started slowly and suffered for that because we
lost a goal.

On song: The brilliant Bulgarian was near his effervescent best

On song: The brilliant Bulgarian was near his effervescent best

'The biggest disappointment in the first half was losing the second goal right on half-time.'

Clarke refused to use the dismissal
of Odemwingie as an excuse and was more content with how his side
performed after half-time.

'We are all human, everybody has got
emotions,' he said. 'He thought he had a free-kick against him, the red
mist obviously came down and he will take his punishment.

'He will get his three-game ban and
the club have got a disciplinary process we will go through, and we move
on. In football it happens, people get sent off.

Untouchable: West Brom could not contain Berbatov

Untouchable: West Brom could not contain Berbatov

Get out: Peter Odemwingie was sent off for violent conduct

Get out: Peter Odemwingie was sent off for violent conduct

'I was happier with the second-half
performance. I think we approached the game well second half and we
tried to cause a few problems which I think we succeeded in.

'We spoke at half-time and said if we
could make it 2-1 we could make it an uncomfortable afternoon for
Fulham, but it didn't work out like that.'

Clarke's 10 men held Fulham at bay
until Sidwell scored in the closing stages but it was goalkeeper Foster
who pulled off a string of superb saves to keep the scoreline
respectable.

Red card

Dismissal

Foolish: Odemwingie will regret his actions

The former England goalkeeper
completed a permanent move to the Hawthorns over the summer and Clarke
was pleased with the 29-year-old's performance.

He said: 'He made some good saves but you know when you are down to 10 men that the opposition will have chances against you.

'We spent a lot of time in the summer chasing Ben Foster because we know he is capable of making those types of saves.

'We know he is a top goalkeeper and we paid good money for him. Performances like that are what we expect from Ben Foster.'

Wrap up: Steve Sidwell (left) scored the third

Wrap up: Steve Sidwell (left) scored the third

Raring to go: It was a good afternoon for Fulham

Raring to go: It was a good afternoon for Fulham