Jol wary of visiting Crusaders

Martin Jol said Fulham need to be on their guard against Crusaders in the second leg of their Europa League qualifying tie.Fulham won the first leg of the second-round tie 3-1 in Belfast last Thursday and are overwhelming favourites to progress to the third round.

But the English Premier League side were given a shock in the first leg, as the semi-professional Northern Irish team managed to equalise in the second-half before conceding two late goals.

“Of course if you are 3-1 up its always a good score but we have to be focused, we have to concentrate and not let them score because that’s another target – don’t concede,” Jol said.

“We will score goals, we’ve got good players.”

Jol will have two new faces at his disposal for the match, after the club completed the signings of former Roma defender John Arne Riise and Czech Under-21 international Marcel Gecov this week.

Riise arrives at Craven Cottage after three seasons in the Italian capital, having already spent seven years in the Premier League with Liverpool.

Defensive midfielder Gecov signed for an undisclosed fee from Czech side Slovan Liberec on Wednesday.

“I expect of him (John Arne Riise) that he’ll play the same role as he always did for Liverpool, for Roma – especially for Roma, because there were very good stories about him,” Jol said.

“They probably wanted to keep him but he wanted to go back to England and that helped us to get a player of his quality so he will play tomorrow and he’s only here for five days.”

“Gecov? Yeah (he) signed and I’m happy with him. He’s a very talented player.”

“I’m happy with the business we have done so far but as you know we lost six or seven players in a couple of months time so we need to get a couple of players to get a very good, strong squad.”

Riise said he was hoping to slot straight into the side for Thursday’s tie against Crusaders, and insisted the club was committed to going as far as they could in the competition.

“You can look at the team the manager puts out. He wants to play to win. I think we’re in this competition because it’s great to be in Europe,” Riise said.

“And like I said two years ago, I came to the final (which Fulham lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid) which was a great achievement for the club. If we can get something similar today, this year, this is going to be awesome.”

 


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