René Meulensteen was a happy Head Coach on Boxing Day as strikes from Pajtim Kasami and Scott Parker saw his Fulham side come from behind to earn a huge win over Norwich City.
The Whites showed great character at Carrow Road and leave Norfolk with a deserved three points, with Meulensteen admitting that Parker’s late screamer could prove crucial in Fulham’s season.
“It could be a very significant goal, but that’s something we’ll only know when weeks and weeks, and months and months, go by,” he said. “But I’m delighted with the three points.
“I’m delighted with Scott scoring the winner because his character and his leadership on the pitch typifies the sort of performances we’ve had in the last couple of weeks, and this one was no different. I’m delighted with the points – they’re very, very important – and it gives us a good base to travel up to Hull in two days time.
“It is not a surprise [to come back], as such, because we managed to come back from two goals down against Manchester City with good football. At times [against City] I think we rotated the ball well, we created chances, we played with urgency, we played with purpose, we attacked with purpose. I think Fulham has got enough character and enough quality to come out on top in games.”
It has been a busy week for the Whites – and one that’s far from over – with the Club announcing the appointment of Alan Curbishley as First Team Technical Director on Christmas Eve.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Alan has joined us,” Meulensteen stated. “It’s something that the Club was looking to do even before I joined Fulham so there’s no surprise there. It was just finding the right sort of combination and Alan is going to provide me with fantastic support with the experience that he can bring to the table.
“So I’m very happy that he’s joined us; he saw the performance, the team spirit, so from now on I hope he can add to it and help make sure we’ve got an even better chance of staying up in the Premier League.
“Alan is there as an extra pair of eyes to offer me advice with whatever he sees, whatever he thinks in relation to tactics, to strategies, that sort of thing, so I think it’s going to be a good combination.”
Dimitar Berbatov lost his fitness battle to return for the clash with the Canaries but Meulensteen remains optimistic that he could feature against Hull City on Saturday, although the encounter at the KC Stadium will come too soon for Maarten Stekelenburg.
“There is a chance that Berbatov will return,” he said. “Again, it has been a late shout today, and for the City game as well. He’s still not 100 per cent but again he’s improved and it will be the same case for the Hull game. Hopefully he will pass the test.
“Maarten was unfortunate in that he twisted his ankle on the last day of training. Luckily he’s not as bad as we expected. There’s no bone damage as such but, having said that, I thought Dave Stockdale was outstanding today. Maarten’s definitely not fit for the Hull game and then we have to assess it again.”