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Chris Coleman was beaming after watching Fulham absorb constant Newcastle United pressure and somehow win 4-1.

The Cottagers were second best for much of the contest at St James’ Park, however superb counter-attack play caught out The Magpies.

Collins John opened the scoring before the break with second half goals from Steed Malbranque (2) and Luis Boa Morte settling the tie.

Craig Bellamy pulled one back but it proved nothing more than a consolation and a blip on Mark Crossley’s afternoon – in which he was superb.

“Newcastle had a lot of possession and attempts at goal, but we hung in there,” said Coleman.

“We hit them two or three times on the counter-attack. We did well.

“The last three games they’ve answered a lot of the questions we’ve asked of them.

“We’ve got to keep going. We’ve got Notts Forest in the cup and Chelsea at home. We’re looking to build on these results we’ve got.

“I see the Carling Cup as a great way to get into Europe.

“Today was always going to be difficult and to come away with four goals is an achievement in itself.

“If we want to get back into the top ten then we have to show consistency.

“They were bombarding us with shots and corners in the first half.

“I think if you look at the stats in the game then you’re scratching your head.”

The visitors owed much to the brilliance of Crossley, who has been outstanding since replacing Edwin van der Sar in goal for Fulham.

“Mark’s come in and he’s done very well. He’s been patient. Edwin’s been the number one for some time,” he added.

“Whoever gets in the team and does well stays in the team. Edwin knows that. While Mark is playing like that, he picks himself.”

John, who opened the scoring in the game, picked up a knock in the second half and Coleman is hoping the injury is not too serious.

“We think he’s pulled a muscle in the top of his thigh. He’s come in and done a good job.

“He’s only 18, so he’s going to be a good player.

“Hopefully we’ll get him back sooner rather than later.”