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Martin Jol denies Bobby Zamora rift

last updated Tuesday 13th December 2011, 6:10 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
Fulham manager Martin Jol has played down talk of a rift with Bobby Zamora following the striker's omission from Fulham's defeat at Swansea on Saturday.

Zamora will return to the squad for Wednesday's Europa League game against Odense - which Fulham must win to ensure progression to the knockout stage - but there is speculation that the England international could leave Craven Cottage in January, with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers reported as potential destinations.

"I said to him a few weeks ago: 'Do you love this club?' and he said: 'Yeah, I love this club, I love this team,'" Jol said. "I don't think there is any problem. I think the grass is always greener but it is not only for him.

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora
Fulham striker
Bobby Zamora
Bobby Zamora
"There are always players in a squad of 24 or 25 players that look at other clubs, but this is a great club. There is not one player that has told me he does not want to play for this squad.

"I feel if you look at the media, they started this Bobby thing in August. There are a few youngsters that tell me they should be playing and are not playing all the time, but Bobby is totally different.

"I wanted a good atmosphere and a good team that pushes each other so I thought last weekend it was time for Andy Johnson to play because he has scored goals. He had good games and worked hard in training so that was the motivation."

Asked again whether there was a rift with Zamora, he replied: "They [the media] said we had a bust-up at the start of the season, but you always have a little bit of a disagreement. The main thing is the team, the club."

Zamora's return to the squad on Wednesday would likely see him replace Johnson in attack. The 30-year-old misses the Group K finale through suspension and will be joined on the sidelines by Bryan Ruiz, Danny Murphy and Steve Sidwell. Fulham are boosted by the return of Damien Duff and Chris Baird, although the goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer faces a fitness test.

"He has a problem with his spine because he had that fall [at Swansea] but we make a decision today," Jol said. "The specialist is coming this afternoon to make a decision, but I think he has a great chance to play. Sidwell is not available, it is longer than I thought. Danny Murphy has a problem with his ankle and Damien Duff is back.

"I will play different players because I think I need to, but we still have a strong team. I realise we need to win this game because of the Wisla Krakow away game where we lost 1-0.

"I know Twente will play almost a reserve side [in the group's other match] so I think Wisla have a great chance to win that game so we have to do everything tomorrow to win."

Source The Guardian
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