Steve Sidwell believes Fulham’s win over Stoke City last time out has given the Whites a much-needed boost ahead of Monday night’s trip to Crystal Palace.
The Whites travel to Selhurst Park for the live-on-Sky encounter looking to build on the morale-boosting victory over Stoke – Fulham’s first in the league since the opening day of the season.
Martin Jol’s men left it late against the Potters as Darren Bent struck in the 83rd minute to snatch the three points and give the Whites a welcome shot in the arm going into the international break.
“When the goal went in it was as if the Hammersmith End and all the people in the stands had sucked that ball in - the noise and the fans were brilliant,” said Sidwell. “It [the win] was vital. We said before the game that if we didn’t get the points that were required then it would be a long couple of weeks. So we put ourselves under pressure straight away to get the three points and we knew that it would lift the place and in training there would be a better tempo.
“It’s the biggest league in the world where every game and every point is vital. Every team sets their stall out to have a good start and get points on board early because you don’t want to be down at the bottom always looking up. It’s pressure but we have to deal with it, we’re going to have some tough fixtures now and we have to keep focused.”
Promoted from the Championship last term, Palace have made something of a sticky start to the new season themselves, picking up one win and suffering six defeats from their opening seven games.
Sidwell, though, is expecting a tricky test against Ian Holloway’s Eagles, stating: “I’ve seen them a couple of times. I watched the first game on TV against Tottenham Hotspur and I thought they were very unlucky not to get a result.
“It’s one of those scenarios where they’re always going to be the underdogs going into every game just because they’ve come up and the pressure is off. When the pressure is off you can enjoy it more and be more relaxed in your individual play. It’s going to be a tough game, Selhurst Park is a tough place to go and hopefully we can go there and stick to a game plan that we’ve been working on and try to get the three points.
“Palace will be looking to pick up points, especially at home. It’s vital to pick up points at home; that’s why we have been disappointed so far this season, and the back end of last term, so they’ll be looking to pick up points against us especially.”