May 18 2013 Latest news:
Friday, February 8, 2013
Mladen Petric is targeting four more wins to guarantee Fulham’s Premier League safety ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Norwich City.
The Croatian struck a brace in the Cottagers’ opening day 5-0 win over the Canaries but Martin Jol’s men will arrive in Norfolk locked on the same number of points.
Fulham halted a bad run of form with a much-needed victory over West Ham recently and are now seven points clear of the relegation zone on 28 points, but Petric has a total to aim for in mind to ease any late season jitters
“I think we still need some points,” he said. “The game against West Ham was very important for us and I think we need three or four more wins and then we are clear.”
Petric earned his first international cap since March 2011 when he scored the fourth in a midweek friendly win over South Korea at Craven Cottage.
“It was a strange feeling,” Petric said. “I had to change in the guests’ dressing room but it was nice to have a game here, it was like a home game. I was very happy to score in my comeback game, I’ve been waiting almost two years for that and for a striker it is always nice to score.”
Petric admits he has been frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities under Jol after moving to Fulham on a free transfer during the summer. Petric has scored just three more times since his opening day brace against the Canaries after falling down the pecking order behind the likes of Dimitar Berbatov.
“From the beginning of the season I was hoping to play more but I didn’t so we will see,” he said. “I always try to give my best when I come in and in the end the gaffer is the man who decides.
“I’m very happy to be here and everything is fine, it is just the fact I’m on the bench and I would like to play more.”
Jol prefers to play just one striker in his current system and often picks Berbatov in front of Petric.
The two played together in the 3-0 defeat against Tottenham back in December and Petric believes they could easily fit into the team as a partnership: “Of course I think we can play together,” he added.
Berbatov missed the 1-0 defeat to his former club Manchester United last week, while captain Brede Hangeland was withdrawn at half-time, but Jol is confident both with be available for the Carrow Road clash.
“The only injuries are still Kerim Frei and Mahamadou Diarra – everyone else is fine,” Jol said yesterday at his pre-match press call. “Brede had a little ache and pain on his Achilles but, after this weekend, it was good so he was able to go and play for his country. We will make an assessment on Berbatov and I think, and hope, he will be in the squad.”