Hugo Rodallega declared Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over West Ham United as an important victory for the Whites.
Both sides had gone into the game on the back of a poor run of form, but Fulham edged in front in the 10th minute through Dimitar Berbatov and controlled the remainder of the half.
The Hammers levelled on 48 minutes but Fulham’s heads didn’t drop and Rodallega powered home a header less than 60 seconds later to put the Whites back in the lead.
Martin Jol’s side then sealed the win as Mladen Petrić’s shot was turned over the line by Joey O’Brien late on.
“It’s important for us,” Rodallega told the official website. “West Ham were also struggling a bit going into the game. They are a good team and they were in front of us. Now West Ham have gone further down the table and Fulham have gone up.
“The objective is to get in the top 10 so it was a vital win for us. We are now looking forward rather than behind.”
Rodallega’s goal was just reward for arguably his best performance in a Fulham shirt. It was his third goal since joining the Club in the summer and his first since the 2-1 win over Newcastle United in early December.
“It is important for me,” he said. “Every day I train hard and wait for my chance. The gaffer said to me to enjoy training and when he started me against West Ham it was a boost to my confidence.”
Rodallega’s all-action display led to repeated shouts of ‘Hugo, Hugo’ from the stands and he said: “It’s unbelievable when the fans chant my name; I feel more confident in every minute of the game. When I came to Fulham, I knew it was a bigger club with better players and so I want to do well.”
Attention now turns to Saturday’s clash with Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United in SW6.
The game comes a week after Fulham’s 4-1 defeat to the Red Devils in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup with Budweiser at Old Trafford.
“It’s a big game and we need to win,” stated Rodallega. “It’s different to the cup game. It’s the Premier League and we have a different objective. We want to continue playing like we did against West Ham and make it hard for United.”