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Fulham manager Chris Coleman was ecstatic after his side beat West London rivals Chelsea to put a poor run of form firmly behind them.

The 1-0 win secured by Luis Boa Morte all but assures The Cottagers of their Premiership survival and Coleman hailed the outstanding team effort of his players for overcoming what the Welshman concedes was the toughest period of his short managerial career.

“It’s a funny game, we knew we were going to be up against it. In my time in charge the last five games has been the toughest run,” Coleman said. “It’s been very difficult for us and we knew today that we were up against the champions and they’ll be the champions again.

“The lads dug in and I thought it was an outstanding performance.” Coleman also hit back at the critics who have suggested Fulham have become a soft touch.

“We get criticised for leaking a lot of goals but we score a lot of goals. Last season we scored 52, season before that 52 and it’s likely we’ll score 50 again this season,” said Coleman. “We’ve played exciting football, we’ve got the away record which we’re hoping to put to bed but at home we’ve been devastating really – that’s a 10th win and what better way to get it than against the best in the country and I thought we deserved it.”

The win is a timely boost to the Craven Cottage outfit with the battle for survival hotting up and Portsmouth showing signs of life.

Coleman can afford to be confident now, however, with The Cottagers extending the gap between themselves and Pompey and Birmingham to 11 points.

“It’s more than just three points. Portsmouth won yesterday, they cut it down to eight and you’re always looking over your shoulder and there had been a lot of negativity around recently because of one or two newspapers,” added Coleman. “People do get nervous but I’m delighted that people inside our camp didn’t and you saw that in our performance today.”