Manager Reaction

Saturday 31 October 2015 17:30

Kit Symons was thrilled with how his Fulham side took apart Bristol City in the first half at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

Four goals in the opening 45 minutes from Moussa Dembélé (2), Ross McCormack and Ryan Tunnicliffe earned his side victory, with the Robins claiming a consolation in the 93rd minute.

“Obviously especially first half I thought we were excellent and we scored four very good goals,” the Fulham boss said. “Second half then we could have really put the game to bed with a couple of chances early on but full credit to Bristol City, they kept fighting and working, and some of our decision making and defending wasn’t great second half.

“They kept testing us and we had a tough second half but obviously we’d done such good work in the first half, and we were quite comfortable in the end.”

City had chances of their own in the opening stages of the game but the Whites’ clinical finishing proved decisive – something that pleased Symons greatly.

“It was excellent,” he said of his side’s sharp shooting. “Like I say, four very, very good goals. But as clinical as it was first half, we had some very good opportunities in the early part of the second half to really kill the game off.

“I said to the players afterwards, ‘you can’t be too critical after a performance and a result like that, but I want us to be the very best we can be.’ So there were occasions where our defending and decision making could have been better and we could have been a bit more clinical. But to score four goals away from home is an achievement, and we played very well.

“[Bristol City] are a good side and they can cause teams problems. We changed our shape today, it’s something I’ve been looking at doing for quite a while. I thought we had the right personnel to do that, and it sort of matched up with them and nullified their threat and caused them problems.”

Dembélé’s brace takes him to eight goals for the season – five of which have arrived in the last three games – and his Manager was full of praise for the way he’s progressing.

“He’s a bright young player, Moussa, who’s at a football club where he’ll be worked and developed,” he said. “He’s looking a real goal threat and myself and the coaching staff know him very, very well from his time with the 18s and the 21s.

“He’s got the likes of Alan Curbishley who can give him help and advice – he sat him in the office on Thursday and went through some clips with him so he’s at a brilliant club for his development, and he is developing, almost on a weekly basis. There’s a lot of things we’ve asked him to improve on, and he’s stepping up to the plate and doing that.”

Fulham now sit just four points off the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off places, and Symons is keen for his team to keep their momentum going with two more games coming up in quick succession.

“We’re five games unbeaten,” he said. “We’ve won the last two, scoring four goals in both games so it’s all looking quite good, but we need to make sure we go and put in a performance at Burnley and then put in a good performance against Birmingham on Saturday and make sure this good work isn’t undone.”

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