Sunderland reaction

Thursday 23 August 2001

Fulham's strike partnership of Barry Hayles and Louis Saha hope the good times continue to roll at Craven Cottage this season, following their goalscoring antics against Sunderland.

A goal apiece from the pair gave Fulham a 2-0 win, on a night when Jean Tigana's side were really always in control.

Hayles was suitably pleased with his feat, following his 18 goals last term in Fulham's promotion-winning campaign in the First Division.

"To score my first Premiership goal at home is brilliant," beamed Hayles.
"I've come a long way in a short space of time and I've enjoyed it."

Hayles isn't wrong, having signed from the club in 1998 following spells with Stevenage and Bristol Rovers.

"I thought we played well - we made a lot of chances. We tend to move the ball around really well and we create a lot of chances."

Saha and Hayles are always a threat, and should ever of them get a sniff on goal, then a goal scoring opportunity usually ensues.

"The pace we've got, we can trouble anyone."

Saha echoed his partner's sentiments, following a tight defeat at Manchester United, and Wednesday night's win.

"It's a good start," admitted Saha. "We have confidence after the Manchester United game.

"We have a very good spirit." It seems that spirit is something Tigana is trying to instil during his reign, and it was prevalent on Wednesday night.
While Saha deserved his goal, he admitted it was lucky - his shot was cruelly deflected off young defender George McCarthy.

"I got so many chances before to score, it was a little bit lucky."

But Fulham will need all the luck they can find this term, with many pundits tipping them for good things.

And for Saha, it's all about character: "If we keep the same spirit we will do well."