• Premier League

Jol sacked by Fulham, Meulensteen takes over

ESPN staff
December 1, 2013
Fulham lost 3-0 to West Ham on Saturday © Getty Images

Martin Jol has been sacked by Fulham with Rene Meulensteen taking over first-team coaching duties.

Fulham lost 3-0 at West Ham on Saturday, leaving them 18th in the Premier League table with 10 points from 13 games. Jol had overseen six straight defeats in all competitions.

"Today I spoke with Martin to thank him for his efforts on behalf of Fulham Football Club over the past three seasons and, in particular, since my becoming Chairman earlier this year," Fulham owner Shahid Khan said in a club statement.

"Martin was very gracious and I appreciate his understanding of the situation. There is no question Martin is an excellent football man and he has my utmost respect for the commitment he made to our Club.

"However, our poor form and results this season are undeniable, and Fulham supporters deserve better. With more than half the season still ahead, an immediate change was necessary."

In the same statement on Fulham's official website, Jol expressed his gratitude to the club and Khan.

"It was a privilege to manage Fulham, one of the great clubs in the Premier League or anywhere in the world," Jol said. "I am disappointed in this season but know there are better days ahead for Fulham and its supporters. I will always treasure my experience here and want to thank Mr. Khan and everyone at Fulham for the opportunity."

Meulensteen arrived as head coach on November 13 after leaving Manchester United this summer, having worked under Sir Alex Ferguson since 2007.

"Rene Meulensteen was brought to Fulham to assist Martin and today was offered the challenge and opportunity to step in for Martin," Khan added. "I thank Rene for accepting and now we move forward. I have great confidence in Rene and high expectations for our squad to respond."

"I appreciate the faith Mr. Khan has put in me and will do my very best to honour his trust," Meulensteen said. "We aim to get Fulham back on track, starting Wednesday night."

In an interview with Sky Sports News, Meulensteed added: "I'm going meet up with the club officials tonight to discuss the new situation and how we'll progress. It's a shame, I didn't see it coming, it was something I didn't want to happen to be fairly honest.

"I've known Martin for many years. I felt it was the right thing to do to come to Fulham and help Martin.

"The players and staff know what position we're in and we don't want to be in it. But it's where we're at. If I'm given responsibility we have to do our utmost to make sure we get Fulham back up the table. We have to close ranks.

"It's a massive step up and a massive challenge. But when you're faced with a challenge like this it comes down to making sure you get the basics right, stay mentally strong, and get the fans behind the team. They are clich├ęs but work rate and discipline need to be put right first and foremost.

"I rang Martin straight away. It was definitely not something I was anticipating. We wanted to turn this corner together. When I spoke to him he was still full of desire and fighting spirit. It's a shame it has to go this way but sometimes these things happen in football. I'm not a great supporter of these sorts of decisions but we need to look to the future.

"We belong in the Premier League. I'm confident we can stay up, because of the experiences I've had at United and of what's required to be at the top end of the league. This is different pressure. You need to beat three teams below you, and not worry about the top six. We need to start winning games. We need to make sure we stop conceding early goals which we have done."

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