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Craven Cottage, England

Attendance: 24634

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  • Darren Bent 83'

1 - 0


Jol urges fans to keep cool

Manager Martin Jol has called on the Fulham fans to "keep cool" and get behind the team against Stoke at Craven Cottage on Saturday - even if they are ready to boo him again.

Jol has come under fire following a poor start to the new Barclays Premier League season, with last weekend's stoppage-time defeat to Cardiff leaving them in the bottom three.

However, the Dutchman insists when the whistle blows, helping cheer the team on to a much-needed victory is all that should be on the supporters' minds.

"I always feel that they are entitled to have an opinion, but they have to keep their cool," Jol said at a press conference.

"Like the players, and the manager, of course, has to keep his cool, and the staff.

"It's not after 30 games, it's after five or six games, and if you see the other teams, they're pretty cool as well.

"I see my mate [Norwich manager] Chris Hughton getting a win (against Stoke last Sunday), three points so they are on seven points now, and it's not a lot different here.

"I am strong, I feel eager to do well, I feel eager to challenge and to battle and to come out of this situation. And what is six games? I am ready to battle for 38 games."

Jol is confident Fulham have what it takes to soon start climbing the table.

He continued: "I think the club will be fine; we will be fine because we've got some good players if everybody is there, and even when I've got two or three injuries we will be fine.

"As it is now, I don't think there will be a problem but you need the support of your supporters.

"They don't have to support me, but give us a break, give us a chance to get us back on track.

"I always put myself under pressure but even when you have a battle on your hands for relegation you have to keep your head cool. You need your supporters."

Jol will be without injured midfielder Scott Parker.

Mark Hughes believes he has found a club similar in spirit to Fulham as he prepares to return to Craven Cottage.

Hughes resigned as Fulham manager in the summer of 2011 in the hope of furthering his career but now admits he made a mistake.

The Welshman's next employment came at QPR in a dismal and chaotic 10-month spell that culminated in his sacking.

He is now bidding to resurrect his managerial career at the Britannia Stadium and feels comfortable in surroundings that remind him of Fulham.

The 49-year-old said: "In terms of the club and the people they are very similar - top quality people, good people to work for.

"They are clubs that are trying to be in the top half of the Premier League, that is what we are trying to do and Fulham will be trying to do that again.

"They are clubs that have established themselves for a long time in the Premier League now.

"You reap the benefits of that in terms of being able to invest and move forward. That's what Fulham and Stoke have done."

Hughes has made an encouraging start with the Potters and has earned praise for the style his side have played in, contrasting with the direct and physical game typically associated with them.

The past fortnight has brought setbacks however with defeats to Arsenal and, of more concern to Hughes, Norwich.

Hughes said: "We didn't really see that coming. Until that point we had been very good in terms of performance level.

"We didn't hit anything like the levels we had before."

Hughes has not been back to Craven Cottage since his departure from the club but clearly still has affection for the London outfit.

He expects a tough game there and is surprised Fulham have started the season poorly, having collected just four points from their opening six Barclays Premier League games.

Hughes said: "They had a disappointing result, like we did, last time out but we are under no illusions that it won't be a difficult fixture for us.

"Fulham's home form in the last few seasons has been really strong.

"I don't really know why they haven't been able to knock results out at home.

"Craven Cottage is one of the great football grounds of the Premier League, it's got its own unique atmosphere and that has helped Fulham in the past."

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