Premier League

Martin Jol blames Fulham's unsettled starting line-up for their recent poor form

Martin Jol: Fulham boss blames an unsettled starting line-up for his side's recent poor form

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Fulham boss Martin Jol believes his side would be enjoying a season like Saturday's opponents Swansea if they too had a settled starting line-up.

The Cottagers made a surprising start to their league campaign following the loss of a number of key players over the summer, but recent results have left Fulham just six points from the relegation zone after one win in 11 games.

With a Craven Cottage clash against the ninth-placed Swans on Saturday, Jol believes his team would also be enjoying a successful season if it wasn't for injuries and suspensions unsettling his line-up.

He said: "Last year Swansea played well but we still managed to finish ahead of them in a very good position.

"It is a very talented team, they play with a good culture but I have to say they can play in the same kind of line-up all the time.

"They have one or two different players maybe. They are in a very good situation.

"You see all these teams playing with the same sides all the time, they pick up the points and we had a big problem. I have to admit that.

"We had to change it around all the time and that didn't help us so Swansea is a team.

"If you see Michu up front or sometimes in the hole, he scores a lot of goals. He is their top scorer so he is certainly making the difference for them."

Michu looks unlikely to feature for Jol's side in west London after suffering an ankle injury at Reading on Boxing Day.

The Spaniard has taken the Premier League by storm since his summer arrival, having already scored 13 stunning goals.

Jol is wary of the threat Michu poses but will not be taking Swansea for granted regardless of the Spaniard's availability.

"Michu was a player known by his manager and that always helps," he said.

"It is the same that I had with Mahamadou Diarra or Dimitar Berbatov, which helps because you know for a fact they will do well.

"He knew him and it was probably the same with Chico Flores, the centre-back. He knew him as well.

"That helps but he has scored more goals than before so the Premier League is well suited to Michu.

"Sometimes he plays in the hole as a number 10 or up front, but they have other players that can play in that position.

"If you saw the game against Manchester United, they did ever so well.

"Man United pressed them and I thought they looked quite impressive, but they couldn't score the goals they needed.

"Then Swansea broke them and got the goal so got the result, but normally you will see Swansea playing in your half, trying to be dominant and trying to take the initiative."