Jol admits relief after Fulham comeback

The under-fire Dutchman saw his side rebound from Steven Naismith's 12th-minute strike to progress to the Capital One Cup fourth round - their first home win in seven
By Liam Twomey at Craven Cottage

Martin Jol breathed a huge sigh of relief after his Fulham side held off a late Everton barrage to progress to the Capital One Cup fourth round.

Steven Naismith gave the visitors a deserved lead on 12 minutes, but second-half strikes from Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent turned the tide.

The Toffes rallied late and Seamus Coleman spurned a glorious chance to take the match to extra-time, but Fulham held on for their first home victory in seven attempts.

"It’s a big relief," the Dutchman admitted. "Sunderland was a long time ago. We wanted to get back to winning ways, but that is not easy.

"You saw in the second half with Berbatov and Bent that there is enough goals in us, and if we can score goals we can win games.

"It’s about selection. Bent scored against Arsenal, then was out injured. We were without Berbatov last week and we struggled, because we were waiting for goals to win games.

"Now we can score goals at the right moments, but it was still a nervous game. If we’d had to go to extra time it would have been awful.

"It’s a good feeling to win a game again, and we fought like lions, but you need players who can put it in the net like Bent did out of nothing."

Despite his disappointment in the result, Roberto Martinez took solace in the performance of Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu, who tormented the Fulham defence with pace and trickery.

"You can see when he runs with the ball he’s electric, he makes things happen and I felt he could have won the game quite easily for us in the first half," the Spaniard told reporters.

"He looked really strong, even in the last 10 minutes – you could have thought that maybe his physical attributes would drop, but he was really alert and a threat throughout.

"He’s getting there. When you see him running at full flow he’s quite unstoppable. In the first half he caused all sorts of problems, getting between the lines really well, really strong on the counter, and I felt his play deserved more goals in the first half.

"The hardest thing in football is to go past people and score goals, and that’s his talent. That’s exceptional to have in any side.

"He comes from a very different league and type of football so he needs to adapt, but in terms of the quality he brings it’s exceptional for a man of that age. He’s got a terrific future."