Fulham captain Scott Parker lauded Dimitar Berbatov’s superb performance after the Bulgarian striker inspired Fulham to a vital win over Aston Villa this afternoon.
The former Manchester United forward laid on the opening goal for ex-Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell and then casually converted a penalty after Alex Kacaniklic was brought down by Leandro Bacuna. Berbatov has been linked with a move away from relegation-threatened Fulham in the January transfer window, but his performance – like the display he turned in on Wednesday against Tottenham – was that of a man fully committed to the cause.
It was very good. We all know the quality he has. He was exceptional again today and was on Wednesday.
We all need to put in a shift and he’s part of the team and we need to carry on from where we’ve left off today. We all knew how important today was, we put in a shift and got the three points. We needed to pick up some points. We had a good performance on Wednesday and followed up with a win.
Parker believes that new manager Rene Meulensteen has had an immediate impact in the seven days since he took over from Martin Jol.
We’ve tried different formations since he’s took charge. There’s versatility in the squad, we all put in a shift and hopefully it’s working now.
Rene Meulensteen was delighted with his side’s application after Fulham recorded their first victory under their new boss in this afternoon’s crucial clash with Aston Villa.
A predatory strike from the recalled Steve Sidwell and a penalty from Dimitar Berbatov proved enough to give Fulham a priceless victory over Villa and saw Fulham build on the promising performance in the midweek defeat by Tottenham at Craven Cottage. Meulensteen, who took over from Martin Jol last Sunday, felt Fulham married both passion and purpose to deliver an impressive display.
I think we set ourselves a marker last Wednesday and we wanted to build from that – that’s why there weren’t a lot of changes and the players lived up to that expectation and deserved the three points. The way you start every game is key, I think it is very hard if you don’t really start sharp it is very hard to get back into the game.
I think it typifies really and sums up both performances,” he added. “It is always hard when teams go through tough patches, you have to dig deep which they did and the goal he (Sidwell) scored was just sheer determination and a fantastic finish.
Meulensteen lauded Dimitar Berbatov’s superb performance – his second such display since reports linking the Bulgarian striker with a January move away from the Cottage surfaced in the press.
It is not a surprise to me, that is what he [Berbatov] can do. When you have got players of the calibre of Dimitar it is most important that other players react to him and that is what Alex [Kacaniklic] did really, really well.