Mark Hughes saluted a superb team performance after an unlikely brace from Chris Baird spurred Fulham on to what he described as a potentially ‘season defining win’ at Stoke this afternoon.

Baird’s early double set up Fulham’s first away win in 27 attempts and went a long way to relieving the pressure that was beginning to build on Hughes after his side had dropped into the relegation zone following a dismal defeat by West Ham on Boxing Day.

I think everybody could see the intensity and focus to our game. We came here frustrated due to our position in the league. That helped our focus and I thought we were immense today. Everybody was exceptional.

That’s what we need in away games – a resolute mindset – and we set the standard today. It could be a season defining win.

It’s been too long since our last away win but today our play was spot on. We thoroughly deserved the win and we played some really good stuff. In the second half we stood up to a bit of an onslaught but we expected that.

I know I’ve got a good group of players and when we play as well as we did today I know we won’t have any issues. The most important thing is that we’ve put three points on the board today.