Fulham 2 Newcastle 1: It was a vital win, admits Martin Jol

Fulham 2 Newcastle 1: Martin Jol heaps praise on his side for ending a seven-game winless streak at Craven Cottage on Monday

The Sport Review staff

Martin Jol hailed Fulham’s “vital” victory after the Cottagers ended a seven-game winless streak against Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on Monday.

Fulham and Newcastle were both struggling after initially impressing this term, and it was the home side who took the lead when Steve Sidwell’s shot was deflected past Magpies goalkeeper Tim Krul.

However, Hatem Ben Arfa produced a stunning equaliser in the 54th minute to offer hope of a precious three points for the visitors, before Hugo Rodallega rose highest to meet Damien Duff’s free-kick and seal the victory.

“It was a vital win. If you lose this game you get in a depression and we didn’t want that,” Jol told BBC Sport.

“It wasn’t easy, although if you look at the chances we had we should have finished it off a lot earlier.

“I was happy that [Dimitar] Berbatov, after talking to him, could fill in that role [behind the striker]. It was vital, he didn’t score so that was disappointing, but on the other hand he linked us up and kept the team together – I was very happy with him.”

Meanwhile, Alan Pardew admitted his concern over Newcastle’s form, with the Magpies currently residing in 15th place and just four points ahead of 18th-place Sunderland.

“I’m worried in so much as we are not picking up enough points, that is pretty evident,” Pardew said.

“Although the performances against Stoke, Wigan and against Fulham have improved, it is a worry we don’t have enough points on the board.”

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