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By Tom Moore, at St Mary’s
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Fulham manager Martin Jol refused to criticise referee Mark Clattenburg for failing to spot a free-kick for Southampton’s equaliser – something that denied them a second away win on the spin.
The Whites had trailed to a Jose Fonte own goal at half time but with a minute of normal time remaining found themselves 2-1 up thanks to an own-goal from Jos Hooiveld and a strike from Kieran Richardson.
However, Fonte headed home a free-kick from Daniel Fox as the 90 minutes were up and the Dutchman felt that Richardson had been fouled before his side were penalised.
“It was a free-kick [for us],” Jol said after the game.
“I know, because I thought at the time that we’d be fine.
“Now we’ve got the ball, the pressure is gone and he acted as if he didn’t see it.
“Two seconds later it was a free-kick for them. That happens. If it had they wouldn’t have scored.”
Jol was questioned further about the free-kick and the Dutchman, clearly wanting to move on from the incident, replied by saying: “I asked my people ‘can you say something in England’ but you can’t.
“You get in trouble and you pay fines. I’ve got good wages but I don’t want to pay these sort of fines. But you know exactly what happened.”
The visitors appeared to still be in the dressing room in the early stages and were lucky not to be further behind and Jol was unhappy at half-time.
“You can give them all the clichés and we don’t work hard enough,” he explained.
“We were worried about making mistakes. We did the same thing in midfield.
“We couldn’t get the ball to our best players and they’re up front – Damien [Duff], Bryan [Ruiz] and Hugo [Rodallega].
“I thought the best player was our left player and he was the youngest player on the pitch. That summed up the first half. I wasn’t pleased with the goal we conceded.”
As poor as Fulham were in the first half they were much improved in the second, causing the Saints all sorts of problems before letting their lead slip at the last.
“I was very pleased with the resilience and the character and with the mental strength too,” he added. “We were a bit worried in midfield to play. We did better in the second half.
“We stood up and we played again like we did before.
“We put them under pressure and my best players had the ball in the second half. Bryan Ruiz, Giorgos did well and we played football.
“But I wasn’t pleased with Southampton’s second goal at the death.”
Fulham now have a weekend off before facing Aston Villa at Craven Cottage on October 20.