English FA Cup

January 5, 2013



1 - 1


English FA Cup

15:00 +00:00, January 5, 2013

Craven Cottage, England

Referee: L Mason

Jol hails Karagounis

Martin Jol revealed he had broken a promise to rest a "knackered'' Giorgios Karagounis after watching the veteran's sensational equaliser rescue Fulham from an FA Cup shock against Blackpool.

"He's been in the team now over the last three games and I told him he could play 60 minutes today because he played the other games,'' Jol said of Karagounis, who signed on a free transfer back in September. "I had to leave him on and I think he's not only a legend in his country, but he's a warrior for us.

"Of course, we had him outside of the transfer window but I was very happy that he came here and he showed that today. Because, that is what you need. That is what we had, for example, with Clint Dempsey.''

The amazing half-volley was Karagounis' first goal in English football but Jol revealed he had seen the midfielder net similar efforts during his stellar career with Inter Milan, Benfica and Panathinaikos.

"If you've seen him on Youtube, he probably did it eight or nine times before, and he's capable of doing that,'' Jol said. "I knew that he could force the issue, Karagounis, and he did. He's a character, he's a personality.

"So, although he was probably knackered, he scored the goal, and that is what you get with Giorgio.''

Despite watching his "very tired'' side get out of jail, Jol was adamant they should have won the game and should have been awarded a first-half penalty for handball. The Dutchman admitted Fulham's movement and final ball was "not good enough'' but was pleased they showed they could grind out a result.

He also had no fear of a replay on what looks set to be an atrocious Bloomfield Road pitch but admitted another game was not ideal.

"What can I do?'' he added. "In the end, if you don't score a goal and if it is not your day, you have to be happy with a replay.''

The Dutchman revealed Steve Sidwell was also forced to play on despite pulling a hamstring following all three Fulham substitutions.

Blackpool boss Michael Appleton admitted he would have taken a replay before kick-off.

"It was their strongest side, so I am pleased to come away and still be in the hat and have the chance to bring them down to the Bloomfield Road cabbage patch,'' he said. "It is as bad a surface I have even seen in the league. I don't think Fulham will be comfortable or enjoy playing there.

"We have to make sure we put on a performance because they are still quality.''

Blackpool's goal, finished emphatically by Ludovic Sylvestre, demonstrated their own quality. But it was completely upstaged by Karagounis' wonder strike.

"It took a fantastic goal to get them back into the game,'' Appleton said. "I asked the players to enjoy their defending because we knew that they would be doing a lot today. But they did well and didn't panic when Fulham started putting balls into the box and we put our bodies on the line.''

Appleton started both Thomas Ince and Alex Baptiste, cup-tying both amid speculation they were on the brink of joining Liverpool and Leicester, respectively.

"I certainly hope they will stay,'' he said. "To me, they did not look fazed about anything going on off field.''

He added of Ince: "He is going through an indifferent period because of all the speculation but he is coping with it really well. I know how difficult it can be, so he has to take credit for that and I am sure that once the speculation settles down, his performances will pick up again.

"Liverpool made an offer two weeks ago but we have not received anything since. It was a case of, 'That's not enough. You'll have to do better if you want him'. Until that changes, he will stay here.''