Martin Jol has insisted that Fulham’s lack of urgency was the reason for their 2-0 loss to Wolves on Sunday at Molineux, rather than a hectic schedule of midweek Europa League matches.
Fulham defeated FC Dnipro 3-0 on Thursday, but Jol believes that while the Cottagers are facing a difficult balance between the two competitions, the fact that it’s only the beginning of the season means the squad should be able to cope with the heavier load of games.
“I don’t think that’s the case at the start of the season,” Jol told the official Fulham website. “Maybe in October there maybe some signs of fatigue but not at the start of the season.
"The only thing is we have to use our best players all the time but we’re in the UEFA Europa League and hopefully we’ll get through to the group stages on Thursday. I’m happy we’re in the competition."
And while the score line didn’t reflect it, Jol said there are positives to be taken out of the match, with a patchy performance to blame for Fulham’s loss.
He added: “We lost today’s game in the final five minutes of the first-half and they played with a lot of urgency and energy in the first-half. We did play better in the second half and created three chances."
Bobby Zamora didn’t play in the match after being ruled out with an ankle injury, and Jol fears that his star striker may be out of action in the Europa League this week too.
“Bobby was okay during the week but this morning his ankle was bothering him a lot so we pulled him out," Jol said.
“He’s doubtful for Thursday as well.”