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Fulham manager Chris Coleman saluted Mark Pembridge after his stunning goal dumped Birmingham out of the Carling Cup at St Andrew’s.

The Welsh international struck an unstoppable 30-yard shot past Blues’ keeper Maik Taylor with 14 minutes remaining to settle the third round tie.

Fulham had been under the cosh for virtually the entire 90 minutes and only a superb display by keeper Mark Crossley kept them in the hunt before Pembridge tucked away one of their rare chances.

Coleman said: “I’ve never seen Mark kick a ball with his right foot, let alone score a goal like that! But I was delighted for him because he never gets the pats on the back that he deserves.

“He has been like that all through his career. He does all the nasty jobs that a lot of players don’t like doing.

“He just shuts his mouth and gets on with things. He is not a glamorous player by any stretch of the imagination.

“But since he has come into the team this season, he has been one of the better and more consistent players and I was pleased for him to get a bit of the glory.”

Coleman conceded that Fulham may have been fortunate to return home with a victory that would boost confidence after a poor sequence of results in the Premiership have left them hovering just above the relegation zone.

He said: “It was a good win but I’m not sure whether we deserved it. We have played a lot better than that this season and have lost.

“I would imagine that Steve Bruce is tearing his hair out and I don’t blame him really. We could have been 4-0 down at half-time but for Mark Crossley.

“But we dug in and the harder you work, the more lucky you get. We had that little bit of luck that you need to turn the season around.”