Premier League

December 29, 2012

Full-time

Fulham

1 - 2

Swansea City

Premier League

15:00 +00:00, December 29, 2012

Craven Cottage, England

Jol tries to defend Stockdale

Martin Jol refused to "blame'' David Stockdale for Fulham's 2-1 defeat to Swansea on Saturday but insisted his goalkeeper's blunders were the only reason his side were sucked ever closer to Premier League drop zone.

Jol compared Stockdale's errors to a "Christmas gift'' as he handed the Swans a 2-0 lead from which the Cottagers never recovered.

Fulham's defeat extended their run to one win in 12 games and left them just four points clear of the bottom three.

Stockdale was making his first Premier League start for almost 11 months following an injury to Mark Schwarzer and manager Jol said: "I can't blame 90 per cent of my players. They gave everything, they did everything. The only one who didn't have the best Christmas Day was my goalkeeper and he's a very good goalkeeper. I won't blame him but you can see that we gave them the two goals - simple.''

He added: "I feel that the first goal we presented to them and the second goal was almost a Christmas gift. I don't think if you play in the way we played today that you will have these sorts of disappointing results, because will pick up points. We made it difficult for them, tactically it was probably our best game over the last couple of months. I really enjoyed watching us.''

Jol revealed Stockdale, who was recalled last week from his loan at Hull, was "very disappointed'' with his performance but denied he had got the jitters in front of watching England boss Roy Hodgson.

"Maybe there was a bit of nervousness because it was his first game,'' he added. "But he played five games for Hull City. He had a good rhythm, he came back, and I was pretty confident to play him. Overall, he did okay, but not for the two goals.''

That was a generous assessment of a wretched performance and Jol was hoping Schwarzer (neck) would be fit for Tuesday's trip to West Brom.

He said: "Hopefully, he will be fit again but, to be fair to David Stockdale, he was always a fantastic replacement for Mark Schwarzer. So, I feel for the boy, but I feel more for us, you know, for the team.''

Stockdale aside, Fulham were the better team today, with the fit-again Bryan Ruiz starring on his return to the starting line-up.

His shot - deflected off Sascha Riether who it transpired was not offside - gave the home side hope and he was a menace all afternoon.

"He was one of our best players so I'm very happy that he's back to his old level and that he's pulling the strings,'' Jol said. How many games do you play when you don't pick up anything from games like we played today?''

The Dutchman had no doubt Fulham would stay clear of danger.

"If you look at the other teams and the quality we've got and they've got, I think we will keep a few teams under us,'' he said. "The only thing is you have to pick up points. Seven wins and we will be in a great position. Even six wins. And I think we are capable of doing that.''

Jol reiterated Fulham would try to make signings but insisted getting key men back from injury was more of a priority.

He also revealed a decision would be made about recruiting Standard Liege goalkeeper Sinan Bolat, who has been on trial, by January 3.

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup was delighted with his side's victory as they demonstrated they could not only win without injured top scorer Michu, but also grind out a result.

He said: "You can't always win playing well with the ball. That's what I talked about when I arrived some months ago, that sometimes you have to use a Plan B or Plan C. Because, if you always want to do the same thing, if that's not working, do we just stop playing our game or go home or what? I think it was a great win and once more showed that our team has character.''

Laudrup hailed Danny Graham, who filled the void left by Michu with his first league goal in four months.

"It was so important for him today to score that goal,'' he said, reiterating he would sit down with Graham next month and hinting he would consider allowing him to leave if he wanted more guaranteed game time.

He also said Michu could be fit for Tuesday's game with Aston Villa.

Scoring Summary

Fulham Swansea City
Bryan Ruiz (56')Danny Graham (19')
 Jonathan De Guzman (52')