Fulham Vs Blackburn Rovers, Sun 11 Sep 2011

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Fulham manager Martin Jol admits his side need to secure some points from Sunday's Barclays Premier League against Blackburn.

The Cottagers have been out of sorts in the league this season and have only managed to accrue one point from their first three matches.

Sunday's opponents Rovers have also started the season in poor fashion losing all the games and Jol has targeted a change of fortunes against the Lancashire side.

"I feel [the need to win] is probably the same as for the opposition," he said. "We need the points.

"It doesn't matter where you play, we need points and to get out of a situation where we are bottom of the league.

"All the teams that are there will tell you the same so they will try to win and we will try to get the result."

The Cottagers have struggled in their attempts to juggle league and Europa League commitments so far this campaign, with Jol admitting the west Londoners' poor start was mainly due to their threadbare squad.

The Dutchman subsequently bolstered the team with three new signings on August 31, bringing in Bryan Ruiz, Zdenek Grygera and Orlando Sa.

Fulham's next Europa League tie is on Thursday against FC Twente, whom Jol bought Ruiz for #10.6million on deadline day.

The Costa Rica was targeted by several of Europe's elite and Premier League rivals Newcastle made a last-gasp swoop for the attacker.

Jol insists he never feared Ruiz would slip from his grasp and has warned the Fulham faithful that the 26-year-old will take a few weeks to bed in.

"Most of the people will tell you that Luis Suarez was one of the few that never had a problem [adapting to a new country]," he said.

"He fitted in straightaway but most of the other players will tell you that the tempo is a bit higher, the pace, the quality of the game is very good in England.

"It wouldn't be strange or awkward if they need a couple of weeks to gel with the other players.

"There was never a feeling that he would leave us or go somewhere else.

"Twente were good and everybody knows we have got the budget so everybody knows I am happy to stay within the budget with these four or five players."

Blackburn boss Steve Kean has brushed off any implications of a letter from fans sent to the club's owners asking them to consider his position.

Rovers have zero points from their three Premier League games this season but Kean insists his signings at the end of the transfer window have strengthened the squad to a position where they can finish in the top half of the table.

Kean travelled to India last week to speak to the owners, poultry giants Venky's, but insisted it was a routine visit rather than a crisis meeting.

Asked about the letter from fans, the Rovers boss admitted he shares supporters' frustration.

Kean said: "It doesn't make me feel bad at all, I have a great relationship with the owners.

"I can understand the fans' frustration that we don't have a point on the board right now but I think it's a minority of the fans and we share that frustration that we have not got points.

"I would say bear with us, we said 'judge us at the end of the transfer window'.

"I think we now have a stronger squad than we had last year. If we can start getting points on the board - and quickly - then the top half is certainly achievable.

"One win takes you halfway up the table and we are looking at going down to Fulham on Sunday and being positive like we were against Everton."

Kean said his relationship with Venky's remained "excellent".

"Every time I go there [people suggest] it's a crisis meeting. It just happens to be the same day every month," he added.

"It's not a crisis meeting. They are very happy. I go once a month, we sit down have a lot of conversations and the communication side between myself and the owners is excellent."

New signings Yakubu, Scott Dann, Simon Vukcevic and Jordan Slew are all in the Blackburn squad for their visit to Fulham.

Morten Gamst Pedersen (hamstring) is out however, while David Dunn is doubtful, also with a hamstring problem. Ryan Nelsen will be assessed to see if he has recovered from his knee injury.

Kean spent eight years at Fulham, first in charge of the academy and then as assistant to Chris Coleman.

"They have a great chairman [Mohamed Al Fayed] who has a put a lot into the club, I have great memories and I am looking forward to seeing some familiar faces," added Kean.


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Morten Gamst Pedersen
Premier League
Ryan Nelsen
David Dunn
Scott Dann
Luis Suarez

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