Fulham manager Chris Coleman conceded that his side’s 2-1 triumph over Sunderland was far from a vintage display but credited character for getting them over the line.

“We didn’t play well but showed great character and courage to get the goals. It didn’t matter how we did it today, we just had to get three points,” he said. Sunderland scoring early made everyone nervous but we came back.”

Fulham have been crippled by injuries and there was no let-up today with Liam Rosenior and Steed Malbranque, making his first appearances since early December, both limping off.

The duo will undergo scans while Coleman admitted the plan of playing Papa Bouba Diop, who was struggling with an ankle problem, backfired. The Senegal midfielder was replaced by Helguson in the 40th minute.

“I gambled with Bouba and didn’t know whether Sylvain Legwinski would finish. Bouba wasn’t himself and I didn’t want to do any long-term damage,” he said. “I was told Heidar wouldn’t be fit but he was okay for the bench and in the end we needed him on the pitch. Alain Goma became ill last night and Carlos Bocanegra wasn’t fit.”