0 users online

Coleman hails Fulham Dogs of War

last updated Tuesday 19th December 2006, 7:35 AM
Fulham Manager Chris ColemanFulham boss Chris Coleman saluted Brian McBride and Moritz Volz as Middlesbrough were dispatched 2-1 in a "dog's war" at Craven Cottage.

Heidar Helguson converted a 12th-minute penalty won by Volz to give Fulham the lead against the run of play and McBride doubled the lead with a deflected second shortly after the half-hour mark.

German right-back Volz, playing out of position in midfield as another injury crisis grips the club, was in impressive form and Coleman was delighted with his side's attitude.

He said: "I take my hat off to my players tonight. I don't want to discuss the injuries, I don't want to discuss who was missing.

"I want to discuss the lads who were out there with their sleeves rolled up.

"Volz was brilliant. He's been itching to play right-back this season but injuries mean he's been in midfield.

"We have a crisis in midfield and he didn't ask any questions. Even if some of the guys come back I can't leave him out of the team when he plays like that.

"Credit to him, I thought he was fantastic. Brian was superb as well. He's probably one of the easiest players to manage. He's a great professional.

"He's a senior player and he was up for it in the dressing room. He knew what the game would be like.

"It was a dog's war. It wasn't pretty or graceful but we were a committed team out there and that was the big difference."

The win moved Fulham four places up the Barclays Premiership to 11th but Coleman insisted he pays little attention to the table at this stage of the season.

He said: "Before tonight we'd won one in five, but now we've won two in four. That's the way it is, it's as fickle as that.

"I said at the start of the season if we can win two games a month we'll be in a good position.

"We're in a better position this year than last year, despite having a worse injury list. There's something about us this season. I can feel it.

"Last weekend we lost 4-0 to Liverpool but we had to forget about that tonight. We had to bounce back today and to do so in the fashion we did was terrific.

"We played 4-4-2, worked hard for each other, put lots of crosses in the box and had two old-fashioned strikers - but still got three points. There's a lesson there for us."

Mark Viduka pulled one back for Boro in the 74th minute with a poor goal-kick from Antti Niemi gifting the opportunity but the visitors could not complete the comeback.

They sit just one place above the relegation zone, level on points with 18th-placed West Ham, but boss Gareth Southgate is confident they have the firepower to climb out of trouble.

He said: "We can't give teams a two-goal start in this division, it's as simple as that.

"But we had three lads who were playing their first games in weeks. We lost three centre-halves in the last week so I'm not going to start criticising the lads who were out there.

"We gave everything we had and at the other end posed a real threat. I do feel that we created enough chances to get something from the game.

"The first time they were really in our half they scored. We were in total control of the game and were then left scratching our heads wondering how we were a goal down.

"We responded reasonably well but then we didn't defend well enough. I have to take a fair number of positives from it.

"If you create chances you will move up the table and we can tighten up on the other areas."







Source Sporting Life
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"