Rene Reaction

Sunday 8 December 2013 16:46

Head Coach Rene Meulensteen was delighted to see Fulham return to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.

Steve Sidwell’s strike and Dimitar Berbatov’s penalty in the first half saw the Whites end a run of six successive league defeats with a much-needed victory.

“I couldn’t be more delighted and the players should be delighted with themselves,” said Meulensteen. “We were quality going forward in an attacking sense. It’s a massive boost. Although we lost, we got the feelgood factor back against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday and it was about backing that up with three points today. The fans can see we’re back on track.

“It’s so tight in the league - every performance in every game is important and that’s how we need to approach it.”

Asked how he’s made his side believe in themselves again after such a torrid run of results, Meulensteen responded: “Reassure them on the training pitch, tell them what’s needed in any performance which is based on hard work and commitment. I thought we were excellent on Wednesday. The energy was good, we just had to make sure we didn’t get down and built on it and we did that today.

“I’ve trained how I’ve always trained and it’s about the players responding to it. One of my biggest qualities lies on the training pitch.”

After impressing against Spurs, Berbatov continued his return to form by dazzling once again and Meulensteen said: “It makes a difference. I thought he was excellent on Wednesday as well but today he showed what he was capable of. I had a good chat with him and he’s fully committed to Fulham and the games we have ahead of us.

“The key word is focus. Anyone who has a good focus and know’s what the job is in hand will help you get results.”

Villa were irked by a late penalty claim that was turned down when Aaron Hughes appeared to trip Gabriel Agbonlahor in the box and Meulensteen added: “Football is about decisions and opinions. We got the one with Alexander Kačaniklić brought down in the box which we took and we would have been disappointed if we hadn’t got the one [involving Hughes and Agbonlahor]. Aaron wanted to play the ball but it’s Mike Dean’s decision and he didn’t give it.”