Tuesday 15 October 2019

Parker pleased as Cottagers rout Toffees

Fulham 2 Everton 0

Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker applauds the fans after the Premier League match at Craven Cottage. Photo: Yui Mok/PA
Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker applauds the fans after the Premier League match at Craven Cottage. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Scott Parker hailed the character of his Fulham players after they bounced back from Premier League relegation to secure a rare victory against Everton. The Whites have struggled all season and an immediate return to the t Championship was confirmed with defeat at Watford on April 2. But they picked up just a fifth league win of the season with a fine performance and a well-deserved win over a poor Everton outfit.

Captain Tom Cairney opened the scoring with just the second Premier League goal of his career and his first since scoring against Everton for Hull in March 2010 before Ryan Babel wrapped up a rare win for the home side. Aleksandar Mitrovic passed up a number of first-half opportunities, but Fulham struck twice in the second half to pick up their first victory since January and a maiden win for caretaker boss Parker, who praised his squad after the game.

"If ever the focus was on this team it was now. We realised the challenge ahead, staying in the Premier League, was tough," he said.

"But once we were relegated it would have been easy... and questions have been asked of me, 'Are your players still up for the fight or on the beach?'

Fulham's Ryan Babel celebrates scoring his side's second goal. Photo: Reuters/Tony O'Brien
Fulham's Ryan Babel celebrates scoring his side's second goal. Photo: Reuters/Tony O'Brien

"Ultimately they answered those questions. For me, the fans and everyone else that character was brought into play today and certainly the players proved people wrong and showed real fight and determination."

It remains to be seen if Parker will be handed the job on a permanent basis and tasked with leading Fulham straight back into the top flight, but the former England midfielder was visibly pleased to earn a victory for the club.

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