Jol looks to strengthen squad
Fulham manager Martin Jol will look to strengthen his squad in January despite the difficulties posed by the upcoming transfer window.
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The Cottagers enjoyed a surprisingly good start to the season after losing a number of key players, including Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Danny Murphy.
That initial flourish has suddenly worn off, though, and Fulham have not won a match since mid-October, thanks in no small part to the impact injuries and suspensions have had on the squad.
Jol brought in free agents Giorgos Karagounis and Mickael Tavares after the summer window closed in a bid to beef up his side and there look set to be more new faces arriving in west London.
"If you would have told me in May that in December Bryan Ruiz won't be there through injury, Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey had gone, I would have thought it would be almost impossible," Jol said .
"Luckily enough we brought in some quality players but they play up front most of the time, like Dimitar Berbatov, Mladen Petric, Ashkan Dejagah and Hugo Rodallega.
"Of course we will always look to strengthen, but the January transfer period is not an ideal one.
"The good players will stay at their clubs or you can't afford them because clubs are asking too much money, but we will come up with something.
"We always look to strengthen the squad because we lost players."
Jol did prove successful in last January's transfer window, utilising his knowledge of the Bundesliga to good effect by bringing in Pavel Pogrebnyak.
The Russia international was out of favour at Stuttgart but filled the void left by Bobby Zamora's move to QPR, helping Fulham to a ninth-place finish.
Two weeks after the window closed, Jol also brought in former Real Madrid midfielder Mahamadou Diarra.
Unlike Pogrebnyak, who moved on to Reading, the Malian is still at Craven Cottage and Jol is having to plan for his absence in the new year.
Diarra's form at Fulham has seen him return to the national team set-up, meaning he may well soon be heading to the African nations Cup.
"We'll look to strengthen the squad because if Diarra goes I can do nothing about it," Jol said. "As it is now he will go to the African Nations Cup.
"He was so good for me last year because a lot of older players left the club. He changed the dressing room.
"I can remember him when he was 18 he was a revelation. He started in Crete and then came to Holland with Vitesse.
"There won't be a lot of players in Europe who will stay at Real Madrid for five years so that is how good he is.
"It was a gamble because he was 30 so it's important to keep him fit."