May 6 2012 By Yann Tear
Martin Jol Image 2
MARTIN Jol believes Fulham can claim to have had their best ever season in the Premier League – given the way they have managed to juggle domestic commitments with Europa League football.
The Whites' 2-1 victory over Sunderland in their final home game leaves them close to equalling their highest ever placing in the top flight.
They are eighth but would finish seventh – matching 2008/9 – if they were to win at Spurs next Sunday and Everton slip up against Newcastle.
But even if it does not quite pan out like that on the final day, the Fulham manager is arguing that it is still the most impressive campaign they have waged.
“I am satisfied with what we've achieved and this is probably the best season ever in the combination with Europe,” Jol said.
“Of course, they finished higher in the league before, but then they didn't play all these games in Europe. Now we've played all these games – I think it's 40 before Christmas – and still we have 52 points and that is a good achievement.
“I enjoyed it before the match today. That was probably the first time this season that there was not a lot to lose.
“On the other hand, we thought that if we could get a win under our belts, we could end up above Liverpool. If we ended up with one point, we were certain of ending above Stoke and Swansea and we will be in the top 10, and that was our main target.
“We are improving and trying to play our football – especially in the first half when you saw that we were the better team. I was very pleased with the way we played.”
Jol said the only thing that nearly spoilt his day was the uncomfortable finale because of a failure to put Sunderland out of the game long before the finish.
“The only thing is you have to be excited until the last seconds and that's not what you need,” he said.
“If you play the way we play, you should score three or four goals and put it to bed and that is not what we did.”