Select Page

Fulham defender Stephen Kelly believes his side should take pride from the way they fought to keep hold of three points againts Stoke.

The home side took a two-goal at Craven Cottage after debutant Pavel Pogrebnyak netted in the 16th minute, before a Thomas Sorensen own goal after Clint Dempsey’s shot hit the bar doubled the advantage.

However, Stoke did not give up the fight and pulled a goal back in the second half through captain Ryan Shawcross.

Despite being under pressure at the back as the visitors tried their best to equalise, 28-year-old Kelly believes Fulham held out well to seal the points.

“It shows good determination, because at 2-1 they had a lot of possession and were pumping it in there and we had to show good resilience not to let them back into the game,” he told the Fulham Chronicle.

“We showed that bit of team spirit we needed to show and which has probably been lacking in the last few games.

“We’ve conceded in the final minutes in some games but we showed that steeliness to hold out. It was going to be a huge win if we got it and we did in the end through sheer hard work.”

Having led at the half-way stage, Kelly understood that pressure would come as Stoke attempted to restablish themselves in the match but admits his side held out well.

“In the first half, we played really good football,” he added. “We showed our qualities, created some good chances and got a couple of good goals to get control of the game.

“Second half, you know there’s going to be spell when they’re going to be on top, with the way they play, and the pressure they put on the ball.

“They never really let you get good clearances in, and they kind of keep stuff alive and they made it difficult for us with the long balls they played. We couldn’t really get out of our own half.”