Fulham manager Martin Jol was effusive in his praise for striker Dimitar Berbatov as the Bulgarian played an instrumental role in the side’s 2-1 win at Wigan.
Berbatov has had a major impact since arriving at the club in a cut-price £5 million deal from Manchester United and was at his fluid best at the DW Stadium, providing a magnificent assist for Hugo Rodellega to open the scoring.
And Jol, although admitting it was a gamble to play with two strikers away from home, was delighted with the Bulgarian’s display.
“I always thought that he was a fantastic player, the only thing I see now is that he can play in different positions as well," he said.
“If you go and play away at Wigan you take a gamble to play with two strikers because most of the time last year we changed our playing style with a 4-3-3.
“I made a gamble to play with Rodallega upfront and Dimitar, and he was probably the best No.10 you can imagine.”
The former Tottenham and Ajax manager was also pleased with Rodallega’s contribution and his muted celebration having scored against the club that introduced him to the Premier League.
Jol continued: “I knew that Rodallega would probably be very eager and motivated to do something nice, to score his goal and that’s exactly what he did.
“Ever so pleasing for us. He’s their top scorer ever in the Premier League, and he respected the people and they showed him the respect when we took him off.”
Jol was happy to see his side improve on last season’s dismal away form with individual performances key to the hard-fought win over Wigan.
“Last year we had four wins away from home and five draws so it was not bad but certainly not good," the Dutchman said.
“It was satisfying that [Chris] Baird and [Steve] Sidwell played so well. I think Berbatov gave us the quality and Rodallega gave us pace.”