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.

“My players were fantastic – Andy Cole got a great goal and we deserved the win. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for us to play like that. We played very well in midweek against Chelsea when we showed enthusiasm, commitment and desire. We did that again today and that is us. We cannot show up for a Saturday afternoon stroll like we did last week because we are not good enough to do that.

Certainly on Tuesday and today the lads went out and rolled their sleeves up. They did the horrible jobs first, but they also played good football and I was delighted with the performance. We showed we are a good passing team for at least the first 70 minutes, because for the last 20 we were shaky, which was understandable.

We’ve certainly got the players to keep possession of the ball better. I think sometimes because we’ve got Coley up front, we try to go forward too quickly. Today we showed a bit more patience. Rather than try to hit Norwich on the counter-attack, we were just trying to keep possession of the ball and we saw a wonderful pass before Coley’s finish. Zesh Rehman and Ian Pearce were two monsters for us at the back and of course Coley and Brian McBride up front were the icing on the cake.

“Given our position in the league before this game, we knew this was a six-pointer because for ourselves Norwich, Southampton, Blackburn, Birmingham and all those teams at the bottom, when you play against each other you have to take the points. Thankfully we did that.”