Tag Archives: craven

Jack Wilshere set to miss England games against Republic of Ireland and Brazil

Wilshere blow for England as Arsenal star faces end-of-season op

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

07:29 GMT, 21 April 2013

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UPDATED:

08:45 GMT, 21 April 2013

Roy Hodgson is set to be dealt an injury blow with the news that Jack Wilshere could miss both of England's internationals this summer.

The Arsenal star, who came of the bench for the remaining 19 minutes of his side's 1-0 win at Fulham yesterday, is poised to undergo surgery at the end of the season.

Doubt: Jack Wilshere is expected to be unavailable for England's games against Republic of Ireland and Brazil

Doubt: Jack Wilshere is expected to be unavailable for England's games against Republic of Ireland and Brazil

BABY LOVE

Wilshere is set to become a dad for the second time later this year. The Arsenal midfielder's partner, Lauren Neal, is expecting in October.

Wilshere has only recently returned to first-team action after a six-week injury lay-off.

And according to the Sunday Mirror, the 21-year-old may now require surgery to replace a pin inserted into his ankle during an operation in 2011.

That would leave Roy Hodgson without Wilshere for the friendlies against Republic of Ireland on May 29 and June 2.

Foul: Steve Sidwell was dismissed for this dangerous tackle on Mikel Arteta

Foul: Steve Sidwell was dismissed for this dangerous tackle on Mikel Arteta

Foul: Steve Sidwell was dismissed for this dangerous tackle on Mikel Arteta

Arsene Wenger meanwhile has blasted Steve Sidwell for the reckless tackle which earned him a red card in Arsenal's vital win over Fulham.

Sidwell will miss Fulham's last four games of the season after he saw red for the second time in two appearances.

The former Arsenal midfielder, who was given a straight red for a dangerous tackle on QPR defender Armand Traore three weeks ago, caught Mikel Arteta on his standing foot with a two-footed lunge just 12 minutes in to this afternoon's London derby at Craven Cottage.

Wenger also ended the game with 10 men after Olivier Giroud caught Stanislav Manolev with a last-minute lunge.

The Gunners boss had no qualms with Giroud's sending off, and that of Sidwell, which he thinks could have caused serious injury to Arteta had it happened a millisecond earlier.

'I think the referee could only give a red card (to Sidwell),' the Arsenal manager said.

'We will see (if Arteta is OK). He played the second-half. I don't know how much damage is done. It is a kick, a bad kick.

'I don't know if he has twisted his ankle or not. In these kind of things it is a question of a fraction of a second.

'If you are fully on your foot at the moment you get it you break your leg. If you ease a bit off maybe that is why he got away with it.'

Martin Jol rules Fulham out of signing Chelsea"s Frank Lampard

Lampard will never play for Fulham! Jol rules out move for ace

By
Simon Peach, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

22:40 GMT, 16 April 2013

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UPDATED:

06:49 GMT, 17 April 2013

Martin Jol has laughed off any chance of Fulham signing Frank Lampard ahead of tomorrow's west London derby with Chelsea.

The 34-year-old midfielder might be just two goals shy of the Blues' all-time scoring record, but a Stamford Bridge exit at the end of his contract this summer looks likely.

Having stayed on the bench for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City, Lampard is in line to make his 600th Chelsea appearance tomorrow at Craven Cottage.

Moving on: Chelsea's Frank Lampard looks set to leave the club in the summer

Moving on: Chelsea's Frank Lampard looks set to leave the club in the summer

Fulham boss Jol was full of praise for the England international ahead of the match but dismissed suggestions he might make a summer approach.

'He is the most productive midfield player in England in the last 30 or 40 years,' the Dutchman said.

'Everyone would love to have him. He's fit and is a good character.

'He will have a smile on his face if he listens to Fulham but I would love to have him.

Heading for the exit: Lampard has scored 200 goals for Chelsea

Heading for the exit: Lampard has scored 200 goals for Chelsea

'But it's hypothetical as he will never play for Fulham. I'm not sure he will play for a top-10 team.

'He's a legend – a living legend over there. He won all the prizes over there. In the end I have a feeling they will keep him.'

Any move for Lampard would fly in the face of Jol's ambition to lower the age of the Fulham squad.

They have had the oldest in the Premier League for the past three seasons, but the Dutchman will not use young players for the sake of it.

'Necessity is the mother of invention,' he said. 'I've got a few youngsters but they have to do well.

No interest: Martin Jol says he won't move for Lampard in the summer

No interest: Martin Jol says he won't move for Lampard in the summer

'For example Matthew Briggs is a youngster and has played for a few loan teams but he has to do well.

'If you don't do well you can't expect to be in the first team.

'Kaca (Alex Kacaniklic) did okay but they have to work hard and develop themselves.

'Kerim Frei is one them. Chris David will be one of them but they have to prove they are as good as someone in the first team.

'It's not an easy one but I'm 100 per cent certain that we have one of the best academies in England. They proved that every year – champions of England and finalists before.

'How many players in England are 18 or 19 in the first team Mention one player. But Fulham will have one or two. I am always respectful for my older players.'

Robin van Persie says Chelsea v Manchester United FA Cup tie won"t be a "great game" because of tiredness

It won't be a thriller! Van Persie believes fatigue could affect blockbuster FA Cup tie

By
Simon Stone, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:05 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 30 March 2013

Robin van Persie has warned fans not to expect an FA Cup classic between Manchester United and Chelsea on Monday.

With Chelsea still involved in the Europa League and UEFA frowning on fixtures between England's top clubs on Champions League designated days, the FA were left with little option other than to schedule the eagerly-anticipated quarter-final replay just two days after Premier League fixtures.

Even the potential for an evening kick-off was ruled out as Fulham are due to take on QPR in the Barclays Premier League at Craven Cottage.

Influence: Robin van Persie helped Manchester United to a 1-0 win at Sunderland

Influence: Robin van Persie helped Manchester United to a 1-0 win at Sunderland

Influence: Robin van Persie helped Manchester United to a 1-0 win at Sunderland

It means United will be in action 48 hours after today's win at Sunderland, with Chelsea having marginally less time to prepare following their defeat at Southampton.

It is the kind of scheduling that has England's European counterparts scratching their heads in bewilderment.

And Van Persie points out it is difficult for the players to reach a high level of performance twice in such a short period of time.

Dejection: Chelsea's top-four hopes suffered a blow on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 by Southampton

Dejection: Chelsea's top-four hopes suffered a blow on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 by Southampton

Sublime: Rickie Lambert's beautiful free-kick proved to be the winner at St Mary's

Sublime: Rickie Lambert's beautiful free-kick proved to be the winner at St Mary's

'It is not ideal,' he told MUTV.

'Normally on the second day your muscles are quite bad but now we have to play at this certain time.

'It is a shame but we can't do anything about it because there are Champions League games in midweek and Chelsea are still in the Europa League.

'We just have to deal with it.

'People have to realise they can't expect a great game of football because it is not possible.

'If it happens I am glad, but don't expect it because these games are just too close to each other.'

Back from the brink: Chelsea came from 2-0 behind in the original tie at Old Trafford to force a replay

Back from the brink: Chelsea came from 2-0 behind in the original tie at Old Trafford to force a replay

Van Persie was speaking after United's 1-0 win at Sunderland, which maintains their 15-point advantage over Manchester City with just eight games remaining.

City will be the opponents for Monday's victors at Stamford Bridge, with Van Persie eager to get his hands on a trophy he won with Arsenal but United have not lifted since 2004.

'It has been a while,' he said.

'It has been nine years since we last won it and we want to win the double.

'We made a big step today but we want to go for both. We have a chance to reach the semi-final against City.'

Fulham stalwart Brede Hangeland signs two year contract extension

All smiles as Fulham stalwart Hangeland finally puts pen to paper on new deal, ending years of speculation surrounding his future

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

19:25 GMT, 28 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:25 GMT, 28 March 2013

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland has ended speculation surrounding his future by signing a two-year contract extension at the club.

The 31-year-old's new deal includes an option for a further year, which if exercised would see the Norway international remain at the London club until the end of the 2015/16 campaign.

All smiles: Hangeland had been linked to moves away from Craven Cottage on several occasions.

All smiles: Hangeland had been linked to moves away from Craven Cottage on several occasions.

A statement on Fulham's website confirmed: 'Fulham Football Club is delighted to announce that captain Brede Hangeland has signed a two-year extension to his current contract, with an option for a further year, which will keep the defender at the club until at least the summer of 2015.'

Hangeland, whose existing deal was due to expire at the end of the season, joined Fulham from FC Copenhagen in January 2008 and has since made 233 appearances for the club in all competitions.

'I'm so happy, delighted,” Hangeland said on fulhamfc.com.

'It's taken a long time but we're there now and I hope the club is happy – I'm certainly really happy to have signed.

'I've loved my time with Fulham. It's been a little over five years and I've felt right at home from the very first game.

'I couldn't really see myself leaving, so to finally have signed gives me a great feeling.'

Hangeland was linked with a move to QPR in January, but Fulham rejected two bids from their West London rivals.

He featured in every Premier League game last season for Martin Jol's side, and has appeared 23 times this campaign.

Fulham currently have several players whose contracts are up in the summer, including Mladen Petric, Mark Schwarzer, Chris Baird, Mahamadou Diarra, Giorgos Karagounis and Neil Etheridge.

Mainstay: Hangeland has made 233 appearances for the Cottagers since joining in January 2008

Mainstay: Hangeland has made 233 appearances for the Cottagers since joining in January 2008

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Contract up: Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer (left), forward Mladen Petric (centre) and midfielder Giorgos Karagounis (right) will leave the club in the summer if their contracts are not renewed.

Mladen Petric of Fulham

Greece's Giorgos Karagounis

QPR have second bid for Brede Hangeland rejected by Fulham

Fulham reject QPR's second bid for Hangeland as Redknapp looks to shore up defence

By
Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

15:05 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

15:45 GMT, 30 January 2013

Fulham have refused an increased bid from Queens Park Rangers for captain Brede Hangeland.

Rangers are close to bringing in Christopher Samba to replace Ryan Nelsen but have still not given up their pursuit of Hangeland, 31, as Harry Redknapp looks to bring in at least one experienced Premier League defender.

Going nowhere: Fulham have rejected a second bid from QPR for Brede Hangeland

Going nowhere: Fulham have rejected a second bid from QPR for Brede Hangeland

The Norway centre half is out of contract at Craven Cottage in the summer and has so far delayed signing an extension to bring him in line with top earners such as Mark Schwarzer and Dimitar Berbatov.

Fulham, though, have so far resisted all Rangers' attempts to lure Hangeland to Loftus Road.

Tall order: Hangeland's contract is up at the end of the season

Tall order: Hangeland's contract is up at the end of the season

Manager Martin Jol said last week: 'He's our strength and we would be silly to get rid of him or sell him now.'

QPR missed out on another target as Porto defender Rolando opted to join Italian side Napoli.

Fulham 1 Swansea 2 – match report

Fulham 1 Swansea 2: Stockdale horror helps Swans prove they can cope without Michu

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UPDATED:

17:07 GMT, 29 December 2012

David Stockdale endured a nightmare recall in goal for Fulham today as he gifted Swansea victory at Craven Cottage and sucked his own side ever closer to the Barclays Premier League drop zone.

Stockdale, making his first top-flight appearance for 11 months in place of the injured Mark Schwarzer, handed late Christmas presents to Danny Graham and Jonathan de Guzman in a shocking all-round display in front of England boss Roy Hodgson.

Fulham pulled a goal back in controversial fashion in a wet and windy rally when Bryan Ruiz's shot went in off an offside Sascha Riether but it was not enough to stop them slipping a defeat which leaves them four points above the drop zone.

Swimming upstream: Swansea City's Danny Graham helped his side record another win on the road

Swimming upstream: Swansea City's Danny Graham helped his side record another win on the road

Swimming upstream: Swansea City's Danny Graham helped his side record another win on the road

MATCH FACTS

FULHAM: Stockdale; Hangeland, Briggs, Hughes, Riether; Sidwell, Karagounis, Frei (Senderos 84), Berbatov, Ruiz, Dejagah (Rodallega 76) Subs not used: Etheridge, Kelly, Riise, Baird, Richardson

SWANSEA: Tremmel, Williams, Monk, Tiendalli, Rangel, Pablo (Davies 66), Dyer, Routledge (Ki 46), De Guzman, Agustien (Britton 82), Graham Subs not used: Vorm, Bartley, Britton, Shechter, Moore

Referee: Andre Marriner

Attendance: 25,700

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Swansea stayed 10 clear of danger, with Graham and De Guzman's goals proving there was life beyond injured top scorer Michu.

The punishing festive schedule seemed
to be behind both managers' decisions to ring the changes today, Fulham
making six and Swansea seven.

Each were without their first-choice keepers, with Swansea resting Michel Vorm and recalling Gerhard Tremmel.

And while they were also missing
Michu, Fulham were able to call upon the fit-again Ruiz, something that
would have been more of a relief to Dimitar Berbatov than anyone.

Berbatov may have been poking fun when exposing his 'Keep calm and pass me the ball' T-shirt in the Boxing Day draw with Southampton.

But he clearly missed the only other
player in the squad to hold a candle to him and it did not take the pair
long to rekindle their understanding today.

Frustrations: Dimitar Berbatov wasn't able to have a big enough impact from the outset

Frustrations: Dimitar Berbatov wasn't able to have a big enough impact from the outset

Frustrations: Dimitar Berbatov wasn't able to have a big enough impact from the outset

Frustrations: Dimitar Berbatov wasn't able to have a big enough impact from the outset

Indeed, Berbatov probably should have
scored in the 10th minute when he outmuscled his marker six yards out
only to volley Ruiz's corner into the ground and over the bar.

Otherwise, both teams looked like
sides on a poor run of form, Fulham having won just one in 11 and
Swansea without a victory in four league games.

So it was no surprise to see the opening goal come from a mistake in the 19th minute.

Nathan Dyer scuffed a deflected cross
from the right towards the corner of Stockdale's goal which should have
been easily pushed wide by the keeper, who was last week recalled from
his loan at Hull.

Instead, he slapped the ball straight back into danger, Graham doing well to readjust and hook the ball back into the net.

See something you like England manager Roy Hodgson was back on his old stomping ground

See something you like England manager Roy Hodgson was back on his old stomping ground

Berbatov tried to inspire an
equaliser but Kerim Frei blasted his lay-off wide from a tight angle
before Ruiz fired a free-kick just off target and volleyed another
Berbatov knockdown over the bar.

Giorgos Karagounis was booked for an ugly sliding leg sweep on Dyer that could even have drawn worse punishment.

Tremmel palmed a Ruiz curler to safety before the interval, during which Swansea sent on Ki Sung-Yueng for Wayne Routledge.

Good timing: Graham finished in style on 19 minutes to hand Swansea a surprise lead

Good timing: Graham finished in style on 19 minutes to hand Swansea a surprise lead

Good timing: Graham finished in style on 19 minutes to hand Swansea a surprise lead

Ruiz almost got the better of the motionless Swans keeper when his latest free-kick curled inches wide.

But Stockdale produced another howler
in the 52nd minute when he cleared the ball straight against Brede
Hangeland and it rebounded for Pablo Hernandez to square for De Guzman
to sidefoot home.

Tremmel showed Stockdale the way
three minutes with a decent stop from Ruiz's powerful half-volley but he
was finally beaten a minute later in controversial fashion.

Jonny on the spot: Jonathan de Guzman doubled Swansea's lead shortly after half-time

Jonny on the spot: Jonathan de Guzman doubled Swansea's lead shortly after half-time

Jonny on the spot: Jonathan de Guzman doubled Swansea's lead shortly after half-time

Berbatov headed Frei's cross against
the bar and his follow-up was blocked straight to Ruiz, whose
point-blank finish was going in but hit an offside Riether on the way.

Tremmel's appeals fell on deaf ears and suddenly it was all Fulham.

The visitors sent on Ben Davies for Hernandez in what was now driving rain at Craven Cottage.

The wet surface helped Karagounis
force a spill from Tremmel straight to Berbatov but this time the
offside flag was rightly raised as he slotted home.

Too far: Bryan Ruiz tried his luck from distance, but couldn't find a way through...

Too far: Bryan Ruiz tried his luck from distance, but couldn't find a way through…

... but just before the hour, the Costa Rican handed his side some hope with a finish from close range

… but just before the hour, the Costa Rican handed his side some hope with a finish from close range

Fulham finally made a change of their own with just under 15 minutes remaining, Hugo Rodallega replacing Ashkan Dejagah.

Graham forced another uncomfortable save from Stockdale on the break and Kemy Agustien was booked for upending Rodallega.

Agustien was immediately withdrawn for Leon Britton, with Fulham sending on Philippe Senderos for Frei.

The home side's misery was duly complete when Berbatov sent a stoppage-time header off target.

Fulham 1 Southampton 1 match report: Berbatov gets shirty but Lambert has last word

Fulham 1 Southampton 1: Berbatov gets shirty but Lambert has final say

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UPDATED:

17:40 GMT, 26 December 2012

Rickie Lambert's late penalty secured
Southampton a hard-earned point in west London as Fulham's poor recent
run continued today.

The Boxing Day encounter at Craven Cottage was of grave importance to both sides given their position near the relegation zone.

Cool head: Kelvin Davis of Southampton spills the ball to allow Dimitar Berbatov to score

Cool head: Kelvin Davis of Southampton spills the ball to allow Dimitar Berbatov to score

Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham Scores

Match facts

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise, Dejagah (Frei 67), Sidwell, Baird, Kacaniklic (Ruiz 46), Berbatov, Rodallega (Karagounis 78). Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Kelly, Briggs, Hughes.

Booked: Berbatov, Riise, Senderos.

Goals: Berbatov 8.

Southampton: Kelvin Davis,Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Schneiderlin,
Cork, Steven Davis (Rodriguez 78), Puncheon, Ramirez (Do Prado 90), Lambert. Subs Not Used: Boruc, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Richardson, Mayuka.

Goals: Lambert 85 pen.

Att: 25,700

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Latest Premier League table and results

Fulham came into the match with just one win in 10 matches but got off to the best possible start, taking the lead inside eight minutes.

Kelvin Davis could only fumble a Sascha Riether cross into the path of Dimitar Berbatov, who duly slotted home off balance at the far post.

The Bulgarian celebrated by revealing a shirt saying 'Keep Calm and Pass Me the Ball', although he failed to stay true to his word by somehow heading wide shortly afterwards.

The miss allowed Southampton back into the game and, after a number of missed opportunities, the strugglers grabbed a late leveller.

Saints academy graduate Chris Baird was adjudged to have handled a Gaston Ramirez corner, allowing Lambert to continue his 100 per cent success rate from the spot five minutes from time.

Steven Sidwell was one of three Fulham changes for today's match and should have given them a third-minute lead.

Stunt: Berbatov gets his message across after scoring

Stunt: Berbatov gets his message across after scoring

In the book: Not everyone was impressed with his shirt stunt

In the book: Not everyone was impressed with his shirt stunt

The ball was played in from the left flank and the central midfielder's low strike from the edge of the box went just wide.

It epitomised a bright start from the hosts, who needed just eight minutes to score the opener.

Riether's low driven ball from the right was fumbled by goalkeeper Davis, allowing Berbatov to slot home unmarked.

The former Manchester United striker
was booked for revealing the personalised t-shirt when celebrating but
should have soon had a second goal, nodding wide a weighted Alex
Kacaniklic cross.

Spot on: Rickie Lambert scores late equaliser

Spot on: Rickie Lambert scores late equaliser

Rickie Lambert scores a penalty

Southampton's first opportunity of
note took 20 minutes to create, with a fierce Jack Cork strike from 25
yards well dealt with by Mark Schwarzer.

Berbatov was somewhat fortunate not to
receive a second yellow card for a late lunge on Jason Puncheon as both
sides struggled to keep possession in miserable conditions.

Davis dealt with a deflected John Arne
Riise shot, before Morgan Schneiderlin put wide and a fizzing Lambert
cross was cleared from danger by Baird.

Ramirez – accused of stamping on Riise
moments earlier – then saw a shot blocked by Berbatov as the visitors
pressed for a leveller.

Martin Jol brought on Bryan Ruiz in
place of the impressive Kacaniklic for the second half, with Puncheon
fizzing an effort wide shortly after the restart.

Head case: Fulham's Steve Sidwell takes a whack from Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne

Head case: Fulham's Steve Sidwell shows no fear in challenge with Nathaniel Clyne

Touch and go: Southampton manager Nigel Adkins and Fulham boss Martin Jol (right)

Touch and go: Southampton manager Nigel Adkins and Fulham boss Martin Jol (right)

Fulham were waiting patiently for their second goal, which was almost gifted to them by Luke Shaw.

The 17-year-old left-back's
uncharacteristic slip allowed Ashkan Dejagah through on goal, but the
winger lost his bearings and fired well wide.

Saints soon returned to the attack and Puncheon was called offside just as he struck at Schwarzer.

Dejagah saw a cross-shot flash wide
moments before he was replaced by Kerim Frei, with Brede Hangeland
having an effort blocked soon after.

Saints, though, were proving a thorn in Fulham's side, with Lambert close with a thumping volley 13 minutes from time.

Late drama: Referee Phil Dowd points to the spot

Late drama: Referee Phil Dowd points to the spot

Slick Rick: Lambert scores the equaliser

Slick Rick: Lambert scores the equaliser

Nigel Adkins brought on Jay Rodriguez in a late bid to find an equaliser, which came in the 85th minute.

Ramirez floated in a corner from the
left and Baird was adjudged to have handled under pressure from Lambert,
who stepped up to fire into the top left-hand corner.

Fulham claimed unsuccessfully for a
penalty of their own shortly afterwards when Maya Yoshida barged
Philippe Senderos, before Ramirez's audacious 25-yard strike slipped out
of Schwarzer's grasp and had to be stopped on the line.

Sidwell flashed a volley inches wide and Hangeland came close in stoppage time, but Adkins' side held out for a point.

Fulham target Roma keeper Maarten Stekelenburg

Fulham boss Jol keen on reunion with Dutch goalkeeper Stekelenburg

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UPDATED:

22:46 GMT, 13 December 2012

Fulham manager Martin Jol is after Roma's keeper Maarten Stekelenburg for a January move to Craven Cottage.

Stekelenburg, 30, a Spurs target in the summer, has failed to play regularly at Roma after joining from Ajax for 5m in August 2011.

Fulham target: Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg

Fulham target: Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg

Jol worked at Ajax with Stekelenburg, who was scouted by Manchester United in recent years.

Martin Jol hails Dimitar Berbatov after Fulham beat Newcastle

Jol hails magical Berbatov after fine display (but he should have scored!)

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UPDATED:

23:58 GMT, 10 December 2012

Fulham manager Martin Jol praised the all-round influence of star striker Dimitar Berbatov following the Whites' 2-1 victory over Newcastle at Craven Cottage.

Jol's side had not won in seven games but took the lead through a deflected Steve Sidwell effort and secured a much-needed three points when Hugo Rodallega headed home just nine minutes after Hatem Ben Arfa had levelled for the visitors.

Berbatov should have scored at least once on the night but his close control and first touch drew constant applause from the majority of the fans inside Craven Cottage.

Head and shoulders above the rest: Dimitar Berbatov was the key man as Fulham beat Newcastle

Head and shoulders above the rest: Dimitar Berbatov was the key man as Fulham beat Newcastle

Jol, too, was impressed with the performance from the man he signed from Manchester United in August.

'We had that spell (of poor results) that started against Sunderland with the red card and two big injuries for us,' he said. 'That was very disappointing for us and then after that we couldn't play Bryan Ruiz – he was out for four weeks for us.

'I was happy that Berbatov, after talking to him, could fill in that role (behind the striker). It was vital, he didn't score so that was disappointing, but on the other hand he linked us up and kept the team together – I was very happy with him.'

Berbatov's arrival was hailed as something of a coup for Jol and according to the Dutchman, both he and his squad are aware of how important the former Spurs striker is to Fulham.

'The good thing about my squad is that they realise Berbatov is an outstanding player,' he said.

'For me the most important thing is that after losing (Clint) Dempsey – who is making the difference for Spurs now, as well as (Mousa) Dembele plus Danny Murphy and Bryan Ruiz (through injury) I'm very happy that he came to this club because otherwise maybe we could have ended up with a little problem.'

And Jol reckons his side were worthy of the win.

'We couldn't finish them off and then they scored that goal with Ben Arfa – he is a quality player and he scored,' he said.

Well done: Martin Jol praised the brilliant Bulgarian

Well done: Martin Jol praised the brilliant Bulgarian

'But to be fair we have got three or four opportunities and, Berbatov had maybe three of them, to score the 2-1 before that.

'You could say we didn't score at the right moment but if you see the first goal and the second goal, in hindsight it was just enough because we deserved it.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, who has not seen his side win away from St James' Park since May 2, was also full of praise for Berbatov's performance.

'He was special tonight,' he said.

'Everything he seemed to pluck out of the sky, everything seemed to die on his toe – he was a real problem.

'I thought we did much better in the second half with him but he is a class act when he is in the mood and when the TV cameras are here and he is a real problem.'

Fair play: Pardew said Berbatov was 'special'

Fair play: Pardew said Berbatov was 'special'

Alan Pardew criticises Newcastle defence for Fulham defeat

We only have ourselves to blame! Pardew criticises Newcastle defence for Fulham defeat

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UPDATED:

00:19 GMT, 11 December 2012

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said his side only had themselves to blame for defeat against Fulham on Monday night.

His side lost 2-1 at Craven Cottage and Hugo Rodallega scored the winner with a free header from a free-kick.

Ex-Toon winger Damien Duff whipped the ball in from the right and the Colombian rose to nod the ball past Tim Krul without having to deal with any defenders, even though Fabricio Coloccini was close by.

Oops: Hugo Rodallega (left) scored the winner with a free header after being left unmarked

Oops: Hugo Rodallega (left) scored the winner with a free header after being left unmarked

Pardew said: 'It's a really soft second goal – a soft free-kick, soft defending on the free-kick and you can't do that at this level because we had the game by the scruff of the neck at this point.

'We played some of our best attacking football of the season, but we've still come away with nothing. Performances don't get you points.

'In the second half we were terrific other than those two or three moments. We've got no-one to blame but ourselves.'

Newcastle have not won away from home this season and are on their worst run for 27 years on their travels.

'I think we've conceded poor goals at crucial times and away from home it's costly,” the manager said.

Newcastle's next game is at home to champions Manchester City had Pardew insisted his side would go into that clash with confidence.

'I think at home we are a threat to anybody,' he said.

Steve Sidwell opened the scoring in a first half which Fulham deserved to lead in, but Hatem Ben Arfa struck from distance to level things up.

The game became an electric end-to-end clash and both sides had chances to win – but Pardew felt his side should have been tighter at the back.

'We just didn't defend it well it I'm honest, we are going to have to be better – we can't concede soft goals at this level,' he said.

'To win that game we needed to score three at Fulham and it is really difficult to do that.

Come on! Alan Pardew demanded improvement from his defence

Come on! Alan Pardew demanded improvement from his defence

'Of course it is very, very disappointing because I believe we have an honest set of players and we work on situations and really for us it is a poor goal, I can't so no more than that really.'

Newcastle have now lost five out of their last six league games and Pardew admitted times were tough for the club.

'I'm worried in so much as we are not picking up enough points, that is pretty evident,' he said.

'Although the performances against Stoke, Wigan and today have improved, it is a worry we don't have enough points on the board.'

Strong: Pardew liked with his side's attacking intent, which was aided by the return of Hatem Ben Arfa (right)

Strong: Pardew liked with his side's attacking intent, which was aided by the return of Hatem Ben Arfa (right)