Sunderland 0 Fulham 1: Martin Jol hails Cottagers’ team spirit

Sunderland 0 Fulham 1: Martin Jol praises his side's resilience as they clung on to secure an opening-day away win

Sunderland
0
Fulham
1

Martin Jol hailed his Fulham side’s spirit after watching them secure an opening-day victory at Sunderland on Saturday.

Pajtim Kasami scored the deciding goal for the visitors at the Stadium of Light in the 52nd minute as he headed home from close range despite Paolo Di Canio’s men dominating most of the game.

Ondrej Celustka and Ji Dong-Won were among the players to have had chances to rescue a draw for the Black Cats, but Jol’s men clung on for the three points.

“I think it was a perfect away result but not a perfect performance,” Jol told BBC Sport. “We had to grind out the result. It was a very scrappy game for us.

“Sunderland put so many players up front – they had four attacking players. We didn’t do well at times. We have to try to control the midfield – we didn’t do that in the first half. We couldn’t keep it.

“We showed good team spirit. Adel Taarabt had to play 90 minutes despite not having a pre-season, similar for Pajtim Kasami and Matthew Briggs.”

Fulham defender Aaron Hughes added: “We’ll take a clean sheet all day long. We’d have been happy with a 0-0 draw.

“We knew they’d come out and have a go but we withstood that. It was always going to be a tough start but makes it extra pleasing for us.”

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