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Jol reveals the secret behind Berbatov’s stunner against Stoke

Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham

Saturday, February 23, 2013
5:15 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol was delighted to see Dimitar Berbatov net a brilliant goal in today’s 1-0 win against Stoke and revealed he had spoken to the striker about his lack of volleyed goals in recent months.

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The enigmatic Berbatov has often been criticised for an apparent lack of effort but another stellar performance showed why Whites’ supporters regard the Bulgarian so highly.

With the first half drifting towards the break, Berbatov latched onto a weak defensive header to lash the ball home – an effort that probably stemmed from a training ground quip from Jol.

“A couple of months ago I said to him he never scores from a volley anymore so he was trying to prove a point,” said the Dutchman. “This is the first goal he scored from a volley and in the past he did that all the time.”

The Fulham boss hailed the whole team for their defensive showing rather than singingly out just Berbatov and Mark Schwarzer, who saved Jonathan Walters’ penalty in the second half.

The west London side have an awful record of losing points from winning position that has seen them drop 18 points this campaign, so it was no wonder Jol was happy with his charges.

“We should have scored a second goal but in the end they could have punished but, of course, we have Mark Schwarzer, who saved the day for us to get the three points,” added the 57-year-old.

Fulham, currently on 32 points, head to Sunderland next week knowing that a another victory will take them closer to the much-vaunted “40 point-mark”.

“We have had a few vital games this year, Newcastle was one of them, so was West Ham. Also, last week against Norwich because we could have been dragged into a (relegation) situation with five or six other clubs. These points are vital to us,” concluded Jol.

“Overall, if you saw the first half I think we were the better team but it is always difficult against Stoke.”

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Fulham

Nickname: The Whites

Ground: Craven Cottage (capacity 25,700)

Founded: 1879

Honours: Second Division: 1949, 2001.

Third Division: 1932, 1999.

Southern League: 1906, 1907.

Leading goalscorer: Gordon Davies, 178.

Leading appearances: Johnny Haynes, 658.