x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Goal for Martin Jol is to keep Mark Schwarzer at Fulham

Even though he will be 42 by then, manager Martin Jol is hoping goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer will return to Fulham after representing Australia at the 2016 World Cup.

Mark Schwarzer wants to play in goal for Australia at the 2016 World Cup in Brazil after which Martin Jol is hoping he returns to mind the nets at Fulham.
Mark Schwarzer wants to play in goal for Australia at the 2016 World Cup in Brazil after which Martin Jol is hoping he returns to mind the nets at Fulham.

Fulham manager Martin Jol insists goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer can keep going for at least another two years in the Premier League.

Schwarzer, 40, has been instrumental in Fulham securing a mid-table berth with eight matches remaining this season, and Jol sees no reason why he cannot continue to do a first-rate job at Craven Cottage.

The form of the Australian veteran, who is set to go to Rio de Janeiro for the World Cup with his country next year, is the reason David Stockdale is on loan, and Jol accepts that he might have to let the 27 year old go permanently.

"David wants to be a No 1," said Jol, whose side take on relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers on Monday night in a west London derby that has huge significance, in particular, for Harry Redknapp's side. "I'm always looking for a good goalkeeper. I've got another good goalkeeper who's 23, Neil Etheridge, and he's very talented, but he needs to play.

"So maybe we will put him on loan. Stockdale is already on loan, so I have a problem.

"We need one or two goalkeepers. Hopefully we can get competition for places because that's the ideal."

However, Fulham's priority is to sign up Schwarzer on a new contract that Jol hopes will extend beyond the 2014 World Cup.

Talks are currently in process and Jol said Schwarzer "can go on for the next one or two years, but it's not like he is 22 and has another 10 years left in him.

"But how old are goalkeepers?

"If you look for evidence of them being 44-45, I can't see it. So 40 is quite remarkable.

"[Australia] will go to the World Cup and he wants to be there. He will be 42, and then he will come back to us, hopefully."

Meanwhile, Jol has been boosted by captain Brede Hangeland signing a new two-year contract.

The Norwegian central defender will have the task of nullifying the threat of former Fulham and England striker Bobby Zamora, who has been deemed fit to face his old teammates.

Zamora left Craven Cottage for Loftus Road in January 2012, but Jol has few regrets at losing a player with a dubious fitness record.

"Bobby wanted to move," Jol said.

"He felt he could help QPR. Hopefully, after our game, he will help them. If he is fit, he can help any team, because he is a good striker.

"When he played, he did ever so well, but he missed 30 or 40 per cent of the games. If he was fit, he was selected for the national team.

"He has got all the qualities, but when Bobby was not there, we had a problem up front and that is why we changed it.

"Now we have Bryan Ruiz and Hugo Rodallega and Dimitar Berbatov, and most of the time, they are fit to select.

"Don't forget, Bobby wanted that move and at the time we had [Pavel] Pogrebnyak, who scored six goals in five games, so everybody was happy. Bobby was happy with his move and we were happy with Pogrebnyak."

Jol said Fulham, on 36 points, require two wins to guarantee survival and expects a fierce scrap with QPR, who lie second from the bottom and are fighting for their Premier League lives.

"This is a home game, a derby game," Jol said. "They are desperate for three points and we can use them as well."

 

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