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Roy Hodgson was delighted to register his first win as Fulham boss at the seventh attempt – but quickly cautioned his players not to get too carried away after their come from behind victory over Aston Villa.

A virtuoso display from the returning Jimmy Bullard helped the Whites recover from the set back of an own goal by Aaron Hughes that put Villa in front at Craven Cottage. Bullard made the equaliser for the marauding Simon Davies and then curled in a sensational free-kick to secure Fulham’s first win since November.

Hodgson told the press afterwards:

Getting four points from today and our match at Bolton means at last we have started to step in the right direction and narrow the gap between ourselves and the others. We have been flirting with the first rung of the ladder for a long time without putting our foot on it, and I think we did that today. I said to the boys in the dressing room afterwards ‘it’s a start, but there’s an awful long way to go’. I do know it’s heart attack time for Fulham supporters at the moment.”

The Fulham manager revealed that the set-to between Bullard and Chris Baird at Motspur Park earlier this week had quickly been dealt with.

“It was a regrettable incident. Both players were upset that they had caused me and the team a problem. Baird was quick to apologise and take all of the blame and Jimmy showed maturity to accept the apology. I can only hope that this performance can be a benchmark. We are still adrift, we still have an awful lot to do, but I will enjoy this. Come tomorrow, I will have my miserable head back on.”