Stekelenburg Satisfied

Monday 9 December 2013 10:00

Three points, a clean sheet and a return to winning ways equalled a perfect afternoon’s work for Maarten Stekelenburg on Sunday.

The Whites’ 2-0 win over Aston Villa at the Cottage ended a run of six successive league defeats as Fulham secured a first victory since October.

But it was the manner of the win that was most pleasing, with Fulham dominating proceedings for large spells of the game and creating numerous chances.

“It was a terrific day for us and we played well against a good opponent,” Stekelenburg told the official website. “We got the result we wanted and also deserved. We’re very pleased.”

At the other end, Stekelenburg was largely untroubled as some dogged defending limited Christian Benteke to a couple of efforts from distance, the last of which came in injury time as the Dutch goalkeeper tipped a fierce shot over the bar.

“I’m very pleased with a clean sheet because we defended really well,” continued Stekelenburg. “But we have to play like this every game. We were unlucky on Wednesday to lose to Tottenham Hotspur but on Sunday we deserved the full three points.

“Villa didn’t create a lot - I think they only had two shots on goal. We had enough chances to kill the game off in the second half and make certain it was over but we defended well.”

The victory saw Fulham move level with 17th-place West Ham United as the Whites finally ended their poor recent run of results.

“It’s been really disappointing but that’s in the past and now we’ve got three points in the bag, confidence is high,” said Stekelenburg. “It was all about the good performance, too, and now we have to take that into the next game against Everton. The philosophy under Rene Meulensteen is still the same and the last two games have been really good. Now we have to keep on performing like this every week.”

A difficult task awaits the Whites on Saturday when they take on in-form Everton at Goodison Park – a ground where Fulham have never won in the league.

But records are there to be broken according to Stekelenburg, who added: “Sometimes things change and we’re making good steps now. If we keep playing like this, keep working hard in training and really get into a system of how we want to play, then we’ll be a match for anyone.

“Everton will be tough but every game in this league is difficult and I’m confident we can get a result if we play like we did against Aston Villa.”