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Fulham 2-4 Reading Prem36 The Guardian

last updated Monday 06th May 2013, 2:55 PM

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The Guardian

Fulham (0) 2 Reading (1) 4

Martin Jol wants Fulham to head into their remaining games with a different mentality after a fourth successive defeat meant survival is not yet assured.

Talk only a few weeks ago revolved around a top-10 finish but poor form looks to have put paid to that. The defeat by already-relegated Reading compounded a miserable run that has left Fulham five points off the teams in the drop zone.

Jol wants his side to play with more passion in their remaining games against Liverpool and Swansea. He said: "We had 40 points at a very early stage, so that was remarkable. After that, the pressure was a bit off us and now you see all these teams, like Aston Villa and, before Monday [when they lost 6-1 to Villa], Sunderland, picking up points. They got spirit from that and that is what we need as well.

"The first half [against Reading] I was disappointed but the second half we never gave up and were in it until it went 4-2. But it wasn't the best performance, of course. People were shouting to get Bryan Ruiz off and then he scored two goals after that. I was really happy because he is a good player, but it was not the best performance - not as a team, not as an individual."

Asked if his players relaxed too soon in the season, Jol said: "That is the question you ask me every week and you are right, you are entitled to get an answer. But, on the other hand, against all these teams - Newcastle away, Chelsea, Arsenal - we can't fault them for having no application. I think we wanted to do well, but it is more like that pressure you need to perform and get a result probably wasn't there the past three or four weeks."

While Fulham peer nervously over their shoulders, the fate of Reading was already sealed. They and QPR were relegated last Saturday but Reading responded well. Hal Robson-Kanu's double was complemented by goals from Adam Le Fondre and Jem Karacan, meaning Bryan Ruiz's two goals were merely a consolation for Fulham.

"We know where we are in the division," mNigel Adkins said. "The attitude and application from the players since I joined the club has been first class.

"We saw [against Fulham] another steady progression in what we've wanted to do over a short space of time. It is evolving well, which is important. To score four goals away from home in the Premier League is no mean feat.

"It was an entertaining game for the supporters - really, really good. We are delighted because we've got that winning mentality, winning feeling back.

"Again, it is the progression of moving forward, which we are looking to build on. I am asking the players to play a way where we can build out from the back, build through the field of play. The players have controlled the ball better in that respect and it is about progression."

The win was Reading's first since 2 February and the first since Adkins replaced Brian McDermott at the helm. "We took our chances and it is down to the players and the hard effort they have put in," he said. "They are buying into what we're asking them to go do, we're challenging them in a certain way, and they are certainly working very hard, and trying to take it on board."

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