Chris Coleman hailed Fulham’s “best defensive performance of the season” as they overcame the sending off of skipper Luis Boa Morte to claim a goalless draw at West Brom.
Boa Morte was given his marching orders in first half injury-time after he fouled defender Steve Watson to earn a second yellow card.
But Fulham produced a disciplined showing in the second 45 minutes to collect only their third point away from Craven Cottage during the current campaign with Carlos Bocanegra in outstanding form at centre-back.
Coleman said: “That’s the best we have defended all season. In my first year in charge we defended like that and that’s why we had success because we didn’t give away silly goals and we had a lot of clean sheets.
“That’s the best we have defended as a back four. But the whole team defended well and we had to. The back four and Mark Crossley were outstanding.
“We can’t keep going 1-0 down and climbing mountains. We know we’ve got players who can score goals so, if we keep clean sheets, we win games. It’s as simple as that.
“I am happy with a point after the sending-off. We had to defend for 45 minutes and I was delighted with the performance. It was a monstrous performance in terms of togetherness in terms of the lads doing their own job and a little bit of someone else’s.”
Coleman had few complaints with the actual sending-off but felt referee Steve Bennett’s overall performance was inconsistent.
He said: “Alright, it was a yellow card, but there were other challenges on the pitch – sometimes by our own players that were heavy challenges – that just resulted in a free-kick so there was no consistency there again.
“There is no point in complaining. We are not going to moan about whether he should have been sent off or not. I think his momentum has taken him through as well with the challenge.
“There are no complaints really but I thought there were a lot of inconsistencies again in the decisions.
“The game was played in a good manner today. There were a few challenges but the Albion boys didn’t complain and neither did our players. They just got on with it.
“That is how the game should be played. That is how it used to be played rather than players diving around and screaming for fouls and trying to get players booked. The game was played in a good manner.”