Pogrebnyak treble fuels Fulham romp

FULHAM (5) vs WOLVES (0)

FULHAM manager Martin Jol is ready to hand January signing Pavel Pogrebnyak a new contract after the Russia striker plundered a perfect hat-trick in an emphatic drubbing of sorry Wolves.

Pogrebnyak, who joined from Stuttgart until the end of the season, scored with his head and both feet to take his tally to five in three games, with midfielder Clint Dempsey contributing the other two goals.

Jol said: “We’re talking to four or five players about new deals. You want to keep your best players and I think he [Pogrebnyak] is certainly one of them. I never worry about these things. I am only happy that we made the right decision to sign him because you never know.

“There are so many strikers and you have to get them when they are not at their peak. He is now so I’m happy with that.”

A third successive win for Fulham, the first time they had done so for four years, lifted them to eighth in the Premier League, just three points adrift of Liverpool, who have a game in hand. Defeat was the first of caretaker Wolves manager’s Terry Connor’s short tenure and plunged the Midlanders back into the relegation zone, goal difference behind Blackburn.

Pogrebnyak finally made growing Fulham pressure tell in the 36th minute when he headed home winger Damien Duff’s corner, and rattled another before half-time after swapping passes with strike partner Andy Johnson.

Dempsey rounded Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy early in the second half, before Pogrebnyak completed his treble by following up when Hennessy spilled Johnson’s low shot right in front of goal.

New signing Mahamadou Diarra came off the bench and marked his debut by helping to lay on Dempsey’s second, the American charging through and thumping past Hennessy at the near post.