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Fulham manager Chris Coleman last night praised his players for showing the heart required to avoid a relegation battle just a week after slaughtering them for a shambolic performance against Blackburn.

Coleman left no stone unturned in his criticism in the wake of a 2-0 loss at Craven Cottage, questioning the desire and commitment of a number of his highly-paid stars.

But Coleman was again all smiles yesterday, after a 1-0 victory at Norwich.

Although his side were knocked out of the Carling Cup on Tuesday by Chelsea, Coleman was delighted with that performance, and against Norwich at Carrow Road the players ensured that it was not a one-off display.

Coleman’s side led from the seventh minute courtesy of an incisive move which resulted in Andy Cole scoring his seventh goal of the season.

From that moment, Fulham and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar were rarely troubled, with Norwich producing just one shot on goal throughout the 90 minutes.

After avoiding a fourth consecutive league defeat, Coleman said: “I don’t think it’s too much to ask for us to play like that.

“On Tuesday and today the lads went out and rolled their sleeves up. I was delighted with the performance.”

Coleman believes last week’s roasting served its purpose.