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Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Monday, 26 July 2010 16:11 UK

Fulham owner Al Fayed will not rush manager appointment

Mohamed Al Fayed
Al Fayed has owned Fulham for 13 years

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed is refusing to panic over the club's failure to find a new manager.

The season begins in three weeks and the Cottagers' attempts to replace Roy Hodgson have so far drawn blanks.

A bid to install Ajax boss Martin Jol at Craven Cottage collapsed after the Dutch side refused to release him.

But a Fulham spokesman says the chairman will not be rushed into an appointment and will make a decision "as and when he sees necessary".

According to BBC Sports News Correspondent Dan Roan, Fulham are "hugely disappointed" with Ajax's refusal to allow Jol to return to the Premier League.

"Whoever Fulham decide to appoint will be immediately undermined by the fact they they are clearly the club's second choice," said Roan.

"A senior member of Fulham's board of directors told me the club's sense of grievance has only been intensified by their contrasting willingness to allow former boss Roy Hodgson leave for Liverpool, and not stand in his way.

"Fulham want to make an appointment before the start of the season but are not currently negotiating with any candidates."

Caretaker manager Ray Lewington is currently overseeing Fulham's pre-season tour in Sweden, which ends with a friendly against Malmo on Tuesday 27 July.

And while Fulham are still looking for a new manager, Al Fayed is understood to be content with Lewington's preparation for the Premier League season, which begins against Bolton on 14 August.

"The chairman is obviously confident that we will have someone in place but we won't be rushed into making a decision," the club spokesman added.

"We have our second friendly of the pre-season tour of Sweden [on Tuesday] and the chairman is very happy with the way that preparations are going under Ray Lewington so we are not panicking.


"It's business as usual. Ray Lewington is doing a great job with the pre-season campaign and the managerial situation will be resolved as and when we have the right man for the job."

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is thought to be on the club's wish list although the Swede's agent, Athole Still, has said that Fulham have yet to get in touch.

Bookmakers have also made Cardiff manager Dave Jones one of the favourites for the job after his success in guiding the cash-strapped Welsh outfit to the Championship play-off final last season.

Jones insists, however, that he is committed to the Bluebirds.

"I'm fully behind this football club," Jones said. "I can assure our fans that I am - as always - 100% working at this football club to try and get things right, as I have done every season and during the season."

Another manager to be linked with the post is United States boss Bob Bradley, and the 52-year-old received the backing of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I like Bob. I like his approach. I think he has got a steely determination about him. I think he has done a fantastic job," said Ferguson, whose side are in the US on a pre-season tour.

"I know he's been linked to the Fulham job and I don't think it's beyond his boundaries at all.

"He is a young man. And I do not think there is anything wrong with him seeking a challenge in Europe or England, for that matter."

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see also
Boss Jones committed to Cardiff
26 Jul 10 |  Cardiff
Ajax boss Jol turns down Fulham
22 Jul 10 |  Fulham
Clark denies Fulham boss approach
05 Jul 10 |  Huddersfield
Hodgson named new Liverpool boss
01 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
No talks with Fulham - Eriksson
30 Jun 10 |  Fulham

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