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Jol concedes Fulham still in the market

last updated Wednesday 20th July 2011, 10:10 PM

Fulham manager Maarten Jol
Fulham manager
Maarten Jol
Maarten Jol
Fulham manager Martin Jol has conceded his squad needs bolstering if Fulham are to compete across all the competitions this season.

The Cottagers began their competitive campaign with a Europa League tie on June 30 and have an arduous-looking season ahead.

Fulham have so far coped by relying heavily on youth prospects in their ties with Faroese minnows NSI Runavik and Crusaders, who they face again on Thursday night on the back of last week's 3-1 away victory in the Europa League second qualifying round.

While manager Jol says such matches are more like pre-season friendlies, he admits he will need a larger squad if Fulham are to do themselves justice in both domestic cup competitions and Barclays Premier League.

"I am happy with the business we've done so far but, as you know, we've lost six or seven players," he said.

"We need a couple of players to get a very good young squad.

"Up front, for example, we have Bobby [Zamora] and Andrew [Johnson] then the rest is [Lauri] Dalla Valle, [Marcello] Trotta - very young players.

"We played them in the [friendly] matches against Wimbledon and Stevenage and they're not ready yet to fill in that role as a back-up for Johnson and Zamora.

"They are talented but of course we need players.

"[Clint] Dempsey is coming back so that helps, but he plays on the left.

"[Moussa] Dembele is injured so last week we had a little problem against Crusaders.

"I had to play Kerim Frei on Thursday and Sunday, which is maybe evidence that we need a couple of players."

Jol has been linked with moves for a host of talent from across Europe this summer and spent most of today's press conference batting away speculation.

The Dutchman insisted there was no truth linking him with moves for Tottenham striker Robbie Keane, Barcelona's Jeffren and former Fulham favourite Steed Malbranque, who now plays for Sunderland.

However, Jol did confirm the signing of Czech Republic Under-21 midfielder Marcel Gecov from Slovan Liberec on a two-year deal.

"He's signed and I am happy with him," Jol said. "He is a very talented player.

"He's a good midfield player and played against England [in the Under-21 European Championships] and got two assists so he is full of confidence.

"He knows he can play against English teams and that helps. He signed the contract yesterday.

"He had a very good tournament and was very decisive in games.

"That gave us confidence and he has been on our radar for at least a year.

"The Fulham scouts knew him and had very good reports on him."

While several players could follow Gecov to the west London club, Jol insists few will be leaving the club for pastures new.

The Dutchman does not think many will leave Craven Cottage before the end of the transfer window, although he admits question marks remain over the futures of goalkeeper David Stockdale and left-back Carlos Salcido.

Speaking of England squad goalkeeper Stockdale, Jol said: "We are talking to a few clubs but he is still here because we think the conditions must be fine.

"I explained last week that we wanted to be able to recall him if necessary because if something happens with Mark [Schwarzer] I think I need a back-up."

On the future of Mexico international Salcido, who joined from PSV Eindhoven last summer, Jol added: "We are still talking to a few clubs and if the conditions are fine then it is okay with me but if not he will come back.

"I know him from Holland and from the Mexican national team so either way it will be a good solution.

"If he stays, it is okay with me. If he goes, it will be good for the club because we get some money."

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