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Cottagers manager admits he was frustrated to see Russian join Reading in the summer but those feelings eased when he signed the Bulgarian striker from Manchester United

Fulham boss Martin Jol has admitted he was bothered by Pavel Pogrebnyak's move to Reading but those feelings eased when he signed Dimitar Berbatov.

The Royals striker spent the last six months of last season at Craven Cottage and made quite an impression scoring six goals in just 12 Premier League appearances including a hat-trick against Wolves.

Jol had hoped to extend the 28-year-old's stay with the Cottagers beyond his six-month deal but was unable to do so, allowing the door to open for Brian McDermott and Reading to pounce for the striker.

The Dutchman admitted he was disappointed at the time, but felt better about his team when he brought in Hugo Rodallega, Mladen Petric and Berbatov, who have all starred for the Whites since their arrival at the club.

Jol told reporters: "I was bothered with it at the time but not anymore. I've got other players now and I'm happy with my players as Rodallega, Petric and, of course, Berbatov came in.

"I liked Pavel very much and he liked the club as well but he made the decision to go there. They made him a very good offer and he decided to go there but it was not an easy decision for him, believe me.

"I spoke to him a couple of times but he made that choice and, at that time, I was very disappointed but later on I thought that perhaps if Pavel had stayed, maybe Berbatov would not have been here.

"We've got three new strikers this season – Berbatov, Petric and Rodallega – and I’m ever so pleased with those three. I think, up front, we look better than ever before."

A ROYAL SUCCESS
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Jol feels that Reading haven't had much luck in their games so far this season, and have rarely been outplayed. With that in mind, he admits that his side will have to play well and work hard to get a positive result at the Madejski Stadium.

"If you see their results, it's always close," he added. "They've got a few players who can make a difference and they play like a team. I feel that Reading could be higher [in the table] but they need that little bit of luck.

"It's the same all the time, they need a result so I feel we will need to play well and work hard to get a result there. For them it's probably more important than to us as they really need a result to turn the corner."

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