Jol not taking Fulham's Premier League survival for granted

Despite currently sitting comfortably in mid-table, the Cottagers boss is refusing to rest easy until he has secured his side's top-flight status for next season
Fulham manager Martin Jol says that he will be relieved to reach 40 points in the Premier League this season as he is wary of being dragged into a relegation battle.

The Cottagers currently sit eight points clear of relegation in 11th place but the boss is refusing to take anything for granted until his side have reached the traditional points haul required for top-flight safety.

"Like a lot of other teams, we set a target that we would like to have 40 points," the Dutchman told reporters. "Then we can relax maybe a bit more and, from then on, try to get as high up the table as possible.

11/2 Fulham are 11/2 with William Hill to draw 1-1 with Sunderland in their next Premier League match
"If you see the league over the last five or six years, you will see the same situation. There are three or four clubs down there but, at the end of the year, you always see one or two teams dropping into trouble.

"Wigan, for example, are almost specialists in getting out of trouble, so there will always be one or two clubs to be dragged into it and we don't want to be one of those clubs.

"Our first target was to stay in the league because that's important for the club. If you look at the resources all the clubs in the Premier League get at the end of the year, it's vital for us to stay in the league. And then even 12th or 11th would be fantastic for us."

The former Tottenham boss also revealed that Mahamadou Diarra is still a few weeks away from returning to the first team, as the midfielder struggles to come back from a knee injury that has kept him out since early December.

"Diarra had a little setback a week ago and, hopefully, he will be fine in the next three weeks but I can't have a guarantee from my medical staff so that is a problem for him and a problem for us," Jol noted.

"After his operation we thought he was better, he thought he was better, then he felt this aching pain.