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Ashkan Dejagah lauded Fulham’s work ethic and praised a professional team performance after the Whites picked up three precious points against Stoke on Saturday.

The Iranian winger, reintroduced into the starting line-up by Martin Jol for Saturday’s game, felt Fulham fully merited the victory, which was secured by Dimitar Berbatov’s stunning volley on the stroke of half-time. Dejagah was particularly delighted with the way Fulham managed to defend against Stoke’s direct style, which was the subject of a week’s special training drills at Motspur Park.

It was very important for the Team and I think we played well. It was a tough game and we were happy to win it. I think every game is hard but we played well on Saturday.

We played together as a team from the first minute until the last minute and it was a very good performance. We had been training hard as a team and the manager said we had to work together against Stoke because they are not easy to play against, but I think we did that well.

Dejagah linked up well with Sascha Riether down the right and put together what might have been his most complete performance in a Fulham shirt, but his composed display was marred by a handball that almost handed the visitors a second half lifeline. The 26 year-old was relieved that Mark Schwarzer managed to save Jonathan Walters’ penalty.

I’m happy with how I played. I was a little bit unlucky with the handball but I was very happy to see it saved – I spoke to Mark Schwarzer after the game to tell him. It was a great save and I was very relieved. I was happy to win this game because it was very important for the team.

Fulham’s attention now switches to a tricky trip to Sunderland, who will be keen to put an end to their stuttering form, on Saturday and Dejagah knows that Martin O’Neill’s side will be prove tough opponents after their win at Craven Cottage earlier in the season.

We have a hard game again this week against Sunderland. But if we play as well as we did on Saturday I think we have a good chance of getting a result up there.