Darren Bent has leapt to the defence of the under pressure Martin Jol, insisting the Dutch coach remains the perfect man to lead Fulham.
Jol has come in for some harsh criticism this season, following a poor start to the campaign which has resulted in the Londoners collecting just four points from the opening six matches. Although it is still early days, this has left them in the bottom three of the table, sparking concern from fans that a relegation battle looms on the horizon.
Indeed, some supporters are now losing faith in the ability of the former Tottenham Hotspur manager. But Bent, who is on loan from Aston Villa and worked under Jol at White Hart Lane, insists the 57-year-old remains the perfect fit for the club, and furthermore, he claims this is an opinion which is common amongst the first team squad.
“He is a fantastic manager and all the boys at the club love him and think he is brilliant,” the England international striker, who has one goal in four matches since returning to the capital last month, said at the launch of the Battlefield for Beta. “So, in our minds, he is the perfect man for the job. We are all behind him 100 per cent.”
Fulham will look to add to their measly points tally on Saturday afternoon, when their former manager Mark Hughes visits with Stoke City. The Welshman led the Cottagers to an eighth place finish in the Premier League in 2010/11, before handing in his resignation after indicating the club didn’t match his ambition. Two years on the 49-year-old, who would go on to be sacked at Queens Park Rangers, admits this was a mistake.
“I left under something of a cloud,” said Hughes. “At the time I made the decision to leave because, given what I knew and what I thought was going to happen in the future, I couldn’t commit to a new contract. I made the decision to leave but, with hindsight, it was probably the wrong decision. When I was there I had a few doubts over what kind of investment would be made available to strengthen the team. I interpreted that as maybe the club didn’t want to keep on progressing. Obviously, almost immediately after I left they started investing in good players and spending some money, so I probably got that wrong.”