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Martin Jol praises goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer

last updated Sunday 20th November 2011, 9:00 AM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
Fulham boss Martin Jol praised veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer after he pulled off a stunning late save to deny Sunderland victory.

The 39-year-old prevented Stephane Sessegnon's deflected injury-time shot finding the back of his net with an instinctive block to ensure the Londoners headed south with something to show for their efforts.

Jol said: "He does that all the time. He's got a lot of experience and great quality, so I am happy he is our goalkeeper."

However, Schwarzer had previously had the crossbar to thank for preserving his clean sheet as Sunderland started the game in confident mood.

Indeed, they might have had it won inside the opening 16 minutes had it not been for the crossbar, which kept out Kieran Richardson's ninth-minute header and Jack Colback's shot on the turn seven minutes later with Schwarzer rooted to the spot.

Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer
Fulham keeper
Mark Schwarzer
Mark Schwarzer
But at the other end, opposite number Keiren Westwood had to make good saves from Mousa Dembele and Chris Baird either side of half-time, while Lee Cattermole cleared Dickson Etuhu's header off the line in time added on at the end of the opening period.

But the real drama came in injury time at the end of the 90 minutes when it looked like the Black Cats had finally made the breakthrough when Sessegnon's shot clipped defender Philippe Senderos and left Schwarzer completely wrong-footed.

However, the Australia international somehow managed to block it with a trailing leg to dash the hopes of Steve Bruce's team.

Jol admitted he was looking for all three points to drag his side away from the lower reaches of the Barclays Premier League table, but was happy enough to leave the Stadium of Light unbeaten.

He said: "If you play well away from home and you have five of six chances, maybe you deserve something.

"They had a few good players up front, but I don't think it was good enough to say they should have won this game. Of course, they were playing at home with this crowd.

"I can't say it was pleasing because we needed the three points, but I can live with it because after the first 20 minutes and with the shot at the end, we could have lost it as well."

Sunderland have now won just two of their last 14 league games on Wearside since they beat Blackburn New Year's Day, although Bruce admitted he thought that statistic was about to be addressed.

He said: "We just needed for maybe our season to get up and running, a last-minute deflected shot.

"Schwarzer - how often has he done that against me? I don't know, but it was a quite remarkable save.

"I thought it was a certainly, and you go and win it 1-0 and everything is hunky-dory again.

"Unfortunately, we might have to wait for another week."

The Black Cats entertain struggling Wigan next Saturday desperate for some relief, but with goalscorers thin on the ground following Connor Wickham's knee injury.

Bruce said: "It's the one thing we have got to address, we know that.

"It's very difficult, very difficult because for me, that's where we were better than the other 12 teams who I am in the mix with.

"When we had [Danny] Welbeck, [Asamoah] Gyan, [Darren] Bent, Fraizer Campbell - that's arguably as good as this club has ever had.

"Unfortunately for one reason or another, we have lost them. We will do our utmost to keep searching and looking and trying to find the right one, of course we will.

"That's my job and that's our job, to move forward."

Source soccernet
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