Match Winner

Monday 7 March 2011 12:00

Bobby Zamora kept his cool to drill home a last minute penalty against Blackburn Rovers at the Cottage on Saturday to earn Fulham all three points and the striker was evidently delighted to have secured the win after a hard fought 90 minutes.

“I don’t normally take penalties,” Zamora told fulhamfc.com after the match. “I think there were a few nervous people out there to be fair.

“It was a chance for me to get on the score sheet so I was happy to take the penalty. Danny was off, who is the regular penalty-taker. Clint picked up the ball and passed it to me and I only had one thing in my mind.

“We were under the cosh a little bit, they [Blackburn] play a certain way and it’s hard to play against. We didn’t play our best football but the lads have been tremendous, showed great character, worked right to the end and got all three points.

“We’ve got so many good attacking options that we always expect to score and the lads at the back, as usual, are always tight and make our job that much easier. Our goal difference is where it is because they’re doing their job so well.”

Zamora’s target is to achieve full match fitness over the coming weeks but with Fulham’s attacking options now as strong as ever this season the England international knows he will have to earn his place back in Mark Hughes’ starting eleven.

“The lads have been a different standard all season in terms of work ethic," said Zamora. "There are so many attacking options now; I don’t expect to come back in.

“I’m happy to play my part coming on off the bench. It’s a shame that it’s so close to the end of the season, for me it’s a case of getting properly fit and hopefully doing well - that’s my goal.

“Just looking at the bench, it’s frightening. The options are brilliant and I think anyone can go in and do a good job. You have to be on top form every week in training to be able to get in that starting eleven.”

Zamora is clearly loving being back in the thick of the action after several months of recovery and rehabilitation. The striker admits there have been some difficult moments on the sidelines this season but is now enjoying the results of all his hard work in the gym.

“Everyone knows it’s tough when you’re injured and trying to get back but we’ve got a great medical team and it’s thanks to them that I managed to make a straightforward recovery," Zamora explained.

“I’ve been pretty lucky all through my career not to pick up anything major and I suppose that was my time but, as I said, we’ve got a good medical team and I managed to come back.

“It was hard watching them [the other players] outside when I was in the gym – that’s the hardest part but I always used to walk past and give them a bit of banter and abuse! It’s lovely to be back training.”