Fulham are grateful to have Pogrebnyak, says Jol

The Dutchman is happy his gamble on the Russian paid off, but insists the striker must remember that the club took a risk in signing a misfiring player
Martin Jol says Fulham are grateful to have Pavel Pogrebnyak - but insists the Russian must continue to repay the faith shown in him with goals.

The 28-year-old netted a hat-trick in Fulham's 5-0 demolition of Wolves on Sunday, taking his tally to five goals in three games since his arrival at Craven Cottage in the January transfer window.

"He's a very good lad. From the first training session he gave us a feeling that he wanted to be here," said Jol.

"That's always good. After his first game, I said 'one swallow doesn't make a summer', after the second game the same. After five goals you have to say that he's a pretty good signing for us.

"If [Pogrebnyak] scored 20 goals every year he would cost a lot, but he's only scored here at Fulham, hopefully he knows that as well. We have to be grateful that he's here but he maybe has to be a bit grateful that he's here.

"I'm happy that we made the right decision, because you never know with so many strikers on the market. You have to get them when they're not at their peak. But now he is, so I'm happy with that.

"I went over years ago to try and get [Pogrebnyak] in Germany [for Hamburg]. We talked to Andrey Arshavin, who was his mate but he went to Stuttgart.

"You can't say he had the best of times there but there are four or five strikers there - if you score it's fine but if you don't you're out the next game. It's probably a different feeling for him - he knows that he will play for us. I promised that he would get his games."

Jol also reserved praise for his side's performance over Wolves which has moved them into eighth in the Premier League.

"If you've got the quality in midfield, like Moussa Dembele, the one thing you do is that if you have the ball and keep it like in our style and that's how we like it," he said.

"With Moussa, we used him as a forward, then as a 'lower 10' in a 4-4-1-1 formation, and now we use him as a central midfielder.

"It's nice to see that [Dempsey] has probably already scored as many goals as he did last year, and we've got 10 or 11 games to go. We almost rely on him and that's not great, but I'm happy that he's here.

"I feel as a wide player scoring 12 or 13 goals, that is exceptional. He was probably already the most productive wide midfielder in England, but hopefully he will get more than 15 goals this season at least."

Wolves boss Terry Connor, meanwhile, was disappointed by his side's lack of concentration as they conceded the first goal from a set piece, but insists his side must bounce back against Blackburn Rovers.

"A lack of concentration, a lack of marking and we find ourselves a goal down from a set play which we're normally not too bad at defending," Connor told reporters.

"I didn't think it was a corner, and from the players' reaction - not just ours but Fulham's as well - I thought it was going to be a goal kick. But that doesn't excuse bad defending.

"Maybe at the end, I thought there was five goals difference, because they punished us. But I certainly felt it was quite even up until the first goal. Our game plan seemed to be working, but from the moment the first goal went in, when we were in possession we gave it away.

"We're always going to get a bloody nose now and again. We're not the best team in the league. For me it's how we bounce back from that. We have to try and be positive and work on our game.

"The fans have got to stick with us. We need them. Particularly in the home games, but whenever we play we need them on our side. When we play against Blackburn it will be a new game and we intend to win.

"I don't think it makes much difference [being back in the relegation zone]. We work at that end of the table, and we were in there before the game at Newcastle. The players are well versed in playing under that pressure.

"Next week [against Blackburn] becomes a really important game. We have to dust ourselves down, pick ourselves up and be ready to go against Blackburn."