Martin Jol struggled to hide ins relief following Fulham’s dramatic FA Cup victory over Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, reports Sky
Kieran Richardson’s stoppage time equaliser breathed life back into the Cottagers’ cup campaign after Nathan Delfouneso had seemingly sent the Tangerines through to the Fourth Round, before Brede Hangeland’s injury time winner put the tie to bed.
Both sides had attempted to take the tie before the threat of a penalty shootout loomed large, but the Premier League side were able to see off their Championship counterparts and hold on for the win.
Jol said: “It’s always a relief. We did OK under the circumstances against a good team with some talented players. We should have won it at home as we put so many crosses and opportunities in the final third but we couldn’t score.
“Then you have to go away from home to a difficult place. Their coach at the time (Michael Appleton) said their pitch is probably 10 times worse than you could imagine so we were prepared for that. But we still tried to play; that is the only thing you can do. But you still have to score a goal and a problem occurred in the 83rd minute which was very disappointing.
“So to see us come back 30 seconds before the end and then to score the winner was great.”
Jol reserved a special mention for former Sunderland man Richardson, while also admitting to resting key players owing to the recent Premier League fixture pileup, with a clash with champions Manchester City also approaching. The 56-year-old former Tottenham boss said: “That was exactly what I had in mind when I put him (Kieran) on but nine out of 10 times it won’t come off.
“He’s a quality player so I’m pleased for him. He was one of our best players on Saturday when he played at left-back against Wigan Athletic but I wanted to rest him tonight. I knew I could call on him if I needed him, though.
“Berbatov felt tired – he’s played a lot of games and Bryan Ruiz had a little bit of a problem with his hamstring again, so I had to rest those two and play Mladen Petric and Hugo Rodallega up front.”
After Fulham’s meeting with Man City they have an 11-day break before their next league fixture, hosting West Ham on 30th January.
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