Martin Jol voiced his delight after Fulham clinched victory over Aston Villa

Fulham grab late winner

Martin Jol: Relieved after watching his Fulham side defeat Aston Villa

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Fulham boss Martin Jol admitted his delight at watching his side seal three points against Aston Villa thanks to a late Chris Baird winner.

The defender got a deft touch to John Arne Riise's near-post corner to beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan and deny Villa what looked increasingly like a battling point.

The Cottagers had failed to convert a hatful of chances during the match, but the Dutchman was relieved in the end as his side secured a 10th win in their last 14 Premier League games at home.

He told Sky Sports: "There was a big relief (when the ball hit the back of the net).

"Of course, if you play against this style with a diamond formation, you have to punish them and we tried to do that.

"Certainly on the ball we were great, but off the ball we weren't as good, especially in the second half.

"We talked about set-pieces before the game and he (Baird) is not the biggest, but he's great in the air, so I really thought it was going to be his day today although he scored in a different way."

Jol also praised the recovery of Mahamadou Diarra after knee surgery. The Mali midfielder came on as a second-half substitute and immediately looked comfortable.

Jol said: "The medical staff thought he was going to be out for three or four weeks, but after the operation it could have been more. He really has made an excellent recovery and played again today."

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