Fulham manager Chris Coleman hailed Andy Cole following an inspired display from the former England striker during the London derby victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
Cole has been given the captain’s armband in the absence of club skipper Lee Clark and he fully justified the faith shown by Coleman with a towering performance against Spurs at Craven Cottage.
He led by example, doubling Fulham’s lead in the 61st minute after the equally impressive Luis Boa Morte had opened the scoring in the first half while also proving a constant menace to the visitors’ defence.
“Scoring goals is what Andy does best. His all-round play today was very good. He’s relishing being captain and he’s taking the responsibility very well,” said Coleman.
“I’m pleased for him because obviously with the controversy over the sending off at West Brom it’s been tough. He’s come back, played 90 minutes, scored a goal and was outstanding.”
Spurs started with Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe up-front but their threat was easily neutralised by Fulham’s youthful back four, which included 21-year-old Zesh Rehman who was making his first appearance at Craven Cottage.
Coleman said: “Spurs are a better team than what we saw today. Their strikers are very lively but to be fair our defence did very well – they coped well with their attacks.
“That was Zesh Rehman’s home debut and I thought he was outstanding. He’s good on the ball and his positioning is brilliant. He’s been dying to get his chance and now that he’s got it, let’s hope he keeps on performing.
“Zat Knight is beside him and he’s only 24, Moritz Volz is 21 and Carlos Bocanegra is 24 – that’s a young back four. Playing against Keane and Defoe is a big ask but they did very well.”
Coleman admitted that Wednesday night’s 1-0 victory over Birmingham in the third round of the Carling Cup gave his side the impetus for today’s victory, which is only their third Premiership triumph this season.
“Tottenham are a good team, I think they may have been a little bit jaded from their cup match on Wednesday. But I’m not taking anything away from our boys. It was a good win and a good performance,” said the Welshman.
“We used Wednesday as a good platform. We didn’t play well but kept a clean sheet, won the game and I think that gave us confidence for today.”We showed what we can do today. The three points are very pleasing but so is the performance. I think we looked like we were back to our old selves.”