Perhaps the best moment of my afternoon at Loftus Road came with the final whistle. Fulham had certainly been hanging on for the final twenty minutes as QPR poured forward, but the last blast of Phil Dowd’s whistle was greeted with an almighty roar from the School End. And one of the first to turn round and celebrate with the fans was left back John Arne Riise, who hailed the victory as ‘a massive result’.
Riise, who myself and a group of Fulham fans bumped into on our visit to Motspur Park last week, was left in no doubt as to the importance of this fixture.
The atmosphere was brilliant. Since Tuesday this week I’ve had a lot of fans Tweeting me, telling me how much of a big game this was for them, so I was aware of how important it was and I was replying to some of them last night.
We were ready for it and we knew the fans were too, so we’re glad we could give them three points and probably a very good Saturday night! Our fans were unbelievable today. They kept singing and dancing around, so it’s always nice to give them something back in a big derby game when they get behind you like that.
I thought we played quite well in the first-half. Ok, they had a man sent off, but we should have been two or three up in the first 20 minutes.
Riise was quite candid about how Fulham’s performance dropped off after half time.
In the second-half we didn’t play at all. We lost the ball too easily and invited pressure onto ourselves, so that was disappointing, but we got the three points and a good win.
He also praised goalscorer Pavel Pogrebnyak for his eager running and willingness to put his head in where it hurts, which got him an clout from Clint Hill this afternoon.
He works hard for the team, he gets in there, takes knocks, steps up and keeps running. But I think the whole team worked hard, even though the second-half wasn’t our best performance, but we got a clean sheet and an away win, so we’re very happy.
Back-to-back wins are always good and now we have Wolves on Sunday, which is not going to be an easy game, but we’ll certainly be looking to get three points from it. That’s our job. But before that we have international team duty, so we’ll go away and come back on Thursday or Friday to focus on Wolves. We’ll enjoy this week because this was a massive result for us and now we can look forward.