Chris Coleman was delighted after Brian McBride’s second half strike against Everton secured Fulham’s first win of the new season.
The Fulham boss felt his side visibly relaxed once the American international stroked home Moritz Volz’s right-wing cross to break the deadlock.
“You could see in the first half that we were a little bit nervous. But in the second half we had more purpose in our play. We went into half time at nil-nil when maybe we should have been behind because Everton were the better team in the first half. In situations like that you’ve just got to make sure you stay in the game and that’s what we said at half time. We were creating our own problems in the first half. We were receiving the ball from big Tony Warner in silly positions then giving it away.
We told them at half time to forget about that, get up the pitch and get the game as far away from our goal as possible for 20 minutes – just win some knock-downs. That’s old fashioned and not really like us, but the most important thing today was getting three points and that’s what we got.”
Coleman highlighted Steed Malbranque’s more influential second period as being a consequence of the Craven Cottage faithful getting behind their side.
“It gave us a little bit of confidence and you saw Steed Malbranque start to open up as well. I get frustrated with Steed because he’s such a good player. Sometimes he flits in and out of games but when he’s on form like that, certainly in the second half, he can open up any defence. He was vital in the win today with his creativity. He was a thorn in their side. It was a big three points for us because we’ve got two week’s rest now and it was important that we entered that period on a high.”