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02-28-2013, 11:25 PM #1
[Football] Martin Jol wary of relegation scrap
Fulham manager Martin Jol says he will be relieved to reach 40 points in the Premier League this season.
Jol's side sit eight points clear of the relegation zone in 11th place but the Dutchman is refusing to take safety for granted.
"Like a lot of other teams, we set a target that we would like to have 40 points," Jol told reporters.
"Then we can relax maybe a bit more and, from then on, try to get as high up the table as possible.
"If you see the league over the last five or six years, you will see the same situation. There are three or four clubs down there but, at the end of the year, you always see one or two teams dropping into trouble.
"Wigan, for example, are almost specialists in getting out of trouble, so there will always be one or two clubs to be dragged into it and we don't want to be one of those clubs.
"Our first target was to stay in the league because that's important for the club. If you look at the resources all the clubs in the Premier League get at the end of the year, it's vital for us to stay in the league. And then even 12th or 11th would be fantastic for us."
The former Tottenham boss also revealed that Mahamadou Diarra is still a few weeks away from returning to the first team, as the midfielder struggles to come back from a knee injury that has kept him out since early December.
"Diarra had a little setback a week ago and, hopefully, he will be fine in the next three weeks but I can't have a guarantee from my medical staff so that is a problem for him and a problem for us," Jol noted.
"After his operation we thought he was better, he thought he was better, then he felt this aching pain."