Stephen Kelly felt Fulham took a while to get going against Charlton yesterday but eventually produced a confident display to ensure a safe passage into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The Republic of Ireland full-back believes that Martin Jol’s strong team selection and the resulting goal-glut against their League One opponents shows just how seriously Fulham are taking the famous competition.
In the first-half we played well, but maybe we were a little bit in first gear. In the second-half we came out and really got at them. As soon as we got the second goal it settled the nerves and we were able to play our stuff and enjoy the game.
If we hadn’t got the early goal I think we would have been at it a little more. I think you could tell after the first goal we sat back a little.
It’s not something you do intentionally, but it does happen, especially when you’re playing against teams from a lower league. We sat back, we kept the ball and we didn’t really penetrate as much as we normally do. In the second-half they came at us a bit and made us raise our game, we got our second goal and killed it off from there.
Overall, I thought it was a good, confident performance – a good, passing game, you know? We’ve really shown over the last couple of weeks how good we are at passing the ball – especially against Arsenal, and we stuck to that throughout the whole game, which was good. And it’s nice to be in the hat for the next round as well.
Kelly hopes Fulham can take their recent upturn in form into the FA Cup and enjoy a good run in the competition, something which Jol has asked of the players.
It showed exactly what the manager wants to achieve. Before the game he was saying how it’s a competition we want to win.
The opportunity to go all the way in a competition like this is one you want to take. The FA Cup is a huge tournament and everyone really wants to do well in it. For us as a team, now that we’re out of Europe it’s something we really want to focus on, and the team the Manager put out today showed that is his intention too. People probably expected him to make a few changes, but now we have almost a full week of recovery between games I think he decided to stick with the same team and keep the momentum going, because that’s two good wins now and hopefully that will continue for the rest of the New Year.