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Fulham 4-0 Bolton Cham 10 1415 Daily Telegraph

last updated Thursday 02nd October 2014, 4:09 PM
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Tom Prentki at Daily Telegraph

Fulham (2) 4-0 (0) Bolton

When Kit Symons described Craven Cottage as "a happy place all round", he obviously had not looked at the neighbouring dugout or to the away section. This was a tale of two managers: one on the verge of getting a job and the other close to losing one.

Dougie Freedman could use an old friend but did not find one in his former team-mate Symons as Fulham coasted to victory over a hapless Bolton Wanderers in the Championship's basement.

"It's a difficult job and it's proving to be more difficult than I thought," Freedman said. "I told the players they are in a relegation battle with a big R. I believe I'm the man to lead them away from this. I honestly do. We keep gifting goals and we've got to give ourselves a chance."

Symons said: "It was a big match. They were above us in the table. We needed a performance and to get a result and we gave both tonight. The two things I set out to do were to galvanise the club and start winning games of football, and to be fair we're doing that."

Bolton had not won at Craven Cottage since November 1992 and Freedman, in the midst of a miserable and increasingly precarious run of form, saw his team two down at half-time after Hugo Rodallega and Fernando Amorebieta had exploited fragile defending.

"It's the other side of the game," Symons said of Freedman's predicament. "We're euphoric and on a high and unfortunately there's always someone on the other end of it."

Shahid Khan, the Fulham owner, on Wednesday took the unusual step of naming a five-man panel to act as consultants in his search for a manager. They will not have far to look if Symons maintains the present upward curve in the Cottagers' form. "That performance and that result certainly won't do me any harm I'm sure," he said with a smile.

A mild evening on the Thames ought to have provided more serene surroundings for Freedman after stormy protests from home fans in Bolton's last fixture but his side were behind inside 10 minutes as the luckless Matt Mills slipped when poised to head McCormack's pass clear, allowing Rodallega time and space to pass into the bottom corner for his third goal of the season.

Things were a lick of paint away from getting worse for Freedman in the next minute as Konstantinos Stafylidis strode through midfield and cannoned a shot onto the base of a post, via Andy Lonergan's fingertips. The sparsely populated away contingent remained ominously quiet as Fulham continued to dominate with Bolton displaying the archetypal body language of a team desperately short of morale.

Fulham, meanwhile, played with swagger and style, with Ruiz shining at the top of a midfield diamond and interchanging to good effect with McCormack and Scott Parker.

Bolton's only chance of note in the first half came as Darren Pratley shaved the bar with a side-foot volley from Liam Feeney's cross but they were two down as the half-time whistle blew with Amorebieta rising to head in Ruiz's well-flighted free-kick

Freedman waited just seven minutes to make all three substitutions after the interval but things got worse rather than better. The contest, and potentially Freedman's tenure, was effectively ended as Lasse Vigen Christensen swept home a Fulham counter which featured Ruiz and Rodallega. It was the 20-year-old Danish midfielder's first Fulham goal and cued chants of: "Stand up for Kit Symons."

The Welshman will be hoping the consultants were listening. "It's a brilliant feeling," he said."I've had stadium's booing me before when I've been playing so it's nice to have a stadium cheering you."

However, Fulham were not done yet. Tim Hoogland converted his fourth goal of the season after George Williams had swept the ball across the penalty area. The chant this time: "We've got our Fulham back.".

Fulham (4-4-2) Bettinelli; Hoogland, Bodurov, Burn, Amorebieta; Christensen, Parker (Williams 71), Ruiz, Stafylidis; McCormack (Roberts 80), Rodallega (Woodrow 78).
Subs Kiraly, Smith, Hyndman, Kavanagh.

Goals Rodallega 9, Amorebieta 45, Christensen 67, Hoogland 79.

Bolton Wanderers (4-2-3-1) Lonergan; Herd, Mills (M Davies 52), Dervite, Moxey; Ream, Spearing; Danns, Pratley (Mason 53), Feeney; C Davies (Beckford 52).
Subs Kenny, Garvan, Lee, Kamara.

Booked Herd, M Davies.

Referee S Attwell (Warwickshire).

Att 14,496.

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