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Post Match Reaction - Fulham 2 Portsmouth 0

last updated Tuesday 25th November 2003, 9:08 AM
Louis Saha took the plaudits from his team-mates and manager after his two goals in as many minutes gave Fulham a 2-0 victory over Portsmouth at Loftus Road.

Fulham Manager Chris Coleman
Fulham manager
Chris Coleman
Portsmouth were in control for half-an-hour until the French striker crashed home the opener from just inside the penalty area and followed up with a bullet header from the six-yard line.

Saha's double ended a run of two successive home defeats and lifted Fulham to fifth in the table, and he has now reached his highest Premiership goal tally with November not yet over.

Fulham boss Chris Coleman said: "When Louis arrived at this club three or four years ago he was very exciting and had lots of potential and in the First Division he was superb.

"He had a few injuries and went off the boil but he has always had the ability and now he has the belief.

"If he can stay clear of injury he can fulfil his potential - he is an outstanding player and is beginning to show that.

"If at the beginning of the season you'd offered me fifth place now I'd have bitten your hand off - I expected to have been sacked by now. The lads are different class."

Fulham defender Andy Melville led the praise for his talented team-mate - who took his tally to eight league goals for the season - when he said: "They were two great goals and Louis is on a roll now.

"He is unplayable and hopefully he can go on like this for the rest of the season."

Saha came off before the end after feeling a tight hamstring but should be okay for Sunday's clash with Arsenal.

He said: "I felt it tighten up so I didn't want to take any risks. I want to thank the team for their part in my goals, it was important to get back to winning ways, we deserved the three points because we worked hard all game."

Pompey Manager Harry RedknappPortsmouth boss Harry Redknapp rued his team's failure to make their dominance pay and take their chances in the opening half hour.

He said: "In the first half hour it was so one-sided it was silly. We could have been one or two in front and put the game beyond Fulham because for 30 minutes they didn't string two passes together or have one shot.

"But I turned to my chairman and said 'if we don't score they could hit us on the break' and that's exactly what they did.

"Goals change games. They were devoid of confidence but when they scored it gave them a massive lift."

Redknapp's misery was complete when Patrick Berger was sent off for swearing at the referee and he will miss two matches.

"I don't condone swearing but players do it all the time," added Redknapp. "Some players get away with it and others get red cards. We lose Patrick for two games now and that's no good because we are very short."
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