Fulham v Newcastle reaction

BY foxsports • January 21, 2012

Having managed just one shot in an appalling first half performance, Fulham deservedly fell behind to a superb Danny Guthrie long-range drive as half-time approached.

However, Jol's half-time pep talk and tactical tweak proved inspired as the west Londoners scored four goals in a 16-minute period.

Danny Murphy and Bobby Zamora netted penalties either side of a Clint Dempsey brace as Fulham ran the Magpies ragged, with American international Dempsey having the final word by firing home his third at the end of the 5-2 victory.

"You can explain everything," Jol said.

"The first half we knew that we had to be a threat in behind [Mike] Williamson and [Fabricio] Coloccini, but we never did that.

"We couldn't exploit our extra man in midfield and in the second half it was different because we decided to play a more direct style. That caused them more problems.

"It was 1-0 and we knew we had come back from that before. The score was not the problem, the style of play was more of a problem. We just didn't put enough energy into it.

"Of course with the runners from midfield and bringing on Andrew Johnson we got that [in the second period] and that is exactly what you saw.

"Having said that, we wanted to do that with Damien Duff, Clint and Bobby Zamora but we couldn't keep the ball.

"If we played it up to Bobby we couldn't get the runners in behind and with Andrew Johnson he solved that problem.

"I wanted to change things at half-time but of course we had (Steve) Sidwell going off [injured just before the break].

"That probably meant we didn't look balanced enough in midfield [so I brought on Chris Baird at half-time].

"The first half was sort of Brixton, the second half was a holiday in Jamaica. It was an unbelievable difference."

Jol was quick to praise the performance of Dempsey after the match as he racked up his second hat-trick in as many games at Craven Cottage.

The treble was the United States international's first in the Premier League and showed why he was named his country's player of the year on Friday.

"Clint Dempsey is our top scorer," Jol added.

"He is a wide player and our top scorer. He is doing what he does best.

"Clint scores goals and if he can score 12 goals this year and some other players do we will be fine."

While Dempsey will rightly take the plaudits, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew pinpointed the game-changing moment as Murphy's equaliser.

Damien Duff was adjudged to have been brought down inside the box by Davide Santon, much the to the disappointment of the Magpies boss.

"I thought the contact was minimal and certainly the only contact that did take place was on the edge of the box," Pardew said.

"But it got given and we have to accept that, it was just our reaction to that goal which was the disappointing factor today for us.

"We could not have been in a better place at half-time in terms of how we controlled the game.

"We got the goal, perhaps should have had two by then, but the Premier League is such that you can't switch off.

"I thought the first goal for them changed the course of the game.

"Whether we felt any injustice for the penalty or an injustice that they happened to be level with us, I don't know.

"We kind of just switched off in that period and it cost us three more goals and then we were in trouble."


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