Cottage chief reveals motivation battle
Martin Jol has admitted that he has found it difficult to motivate Fulham in recent weeks after they comfortably achieved safety.
The Cottagers' boss has enjoyed a very satisfactory first season in charge at Craven Cottage as they have never really been in danger of being sucked into a relegation battle, while Saturday's 2-1 home win against Wigan has moved them into contention for a top-seven finish with three games to go.
However, Jol has admitted that with the players not having to look over their shoulders and seemingly out of contention for Europa League qualification in the past few weeks, it has been a struggle to get them up for games.
"It is difficult. Really difficult. But we try to do a job," Jol said in the Chronicle.
"I always put big phrases in every week about motivation, but it's not easy. They are experienced, so sometimes one or two words help, but I have to say, last week we had the same against Bolton, who were fighting for their lives, and we were fine.
"That is an awful situation for a manager, but we matched them in everything and that is what they did against Wigan."
He added: "We are certainly happy in mid table. If we have to struggle to be in mid table until the last game of the season that is not what you want, so I am happy to be in mid table from the start of the season until the end of the season. I want to be a mid-table, or better, from the start.
"We were probably safe six weeks ago, so that is good, especially if you recognise the fact that we changed formation with five or six new players, which wasn't easy.
"I'm very pleased that we almost have similar number of points, four games before the end, as last year."