Martin hails magic number

Posted by Phil Mison

Jan Kruger/Getty ImagesA draw at Villa Park on Saturday lifted Martin Jol's Fulham to the precious 40 point plateau.

With six games still left in the season Fulham hit the 40 point mark that sees us safe from the relegation scrap. The 1-1 draw at Villa Park, too often a graveyard for visiting Fulham sides in the past, was not a game that will live in the memory.

- Match report: Aston Villa 1-1 Fulham

Fulham have not won a league fixture on this ground for 40 years.

Fact.

This has been a frustrating season in many respects, especially after our so promising start.

But Martin Jol and his staff must be congratulated in getting to the 40 point safety margin. What a relief! Especially when you consider our run-in: Although we finish up with four home games and two away, we have to face Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool at the Cottage, and Everton away.

Jol admitted the Whites were second best against Paul Lambert's bottom-dwellers, but Villa did not quite do enough with the openings they created to claim three points.

Needing to field a re-jigged side here, Fulham put in a workmanlike shift, but might have been punished by a more ruthless side.

Possession turnover on the left led to Brede Hangeland’s weak clearance setting up Charles N'Zogbia for the opener. Avoidable.

Only a soft own goal spared Fulham's blushes, but got them the point they came for.

Villa did not quite hit the heights of recent weeks, but can point to the absence of in-form Gabby Agbonlahor. Dangerman Christian Benteke was well marshalled however.

The Whites were defensively solid for the most part, proving again they are not an easy side to break down. Dimitar Berbatov and Mladen Petric both spurned chances that would have finally broken Fulham's long quest for a win at Villa Park, but a point on the road is ever welcome.

twitter@fulhamphil

ESPN Conversations