Rene Meulensteen was delighted that Brede Hangeland managed the full ninety minutes on his return to the Fulham side in their 3-0 FA Cup win over Norwich City at Craven Cottage this evening.
The Fulham captain made his comeback from a sciatic nerve problem ahead of schedule as the Whites booked a fourth round trip to Brammall Lane with a comfortable victory over the Canaries. Meulensteen, whilst pleased with his skipper’s assured performance, insisted it was too early to say whether the Norwegian defender would be able to face league leaders Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday.
It was a big, big boost to have him back. Brede has done ever so well, working really hard to get back. It was great to see that he came through the 90 minutes really well.
We’ll now need to look at it, because Arsenal away in the league is obviously a different kettle of fish. We’ll review this game with Brede, see how he feels, and go from there.
We know our defensive record needs improving and that’s why we very clearly set out to keep a clean sheet. My biggest thing tonight was keeping the clean sheet. I keep telling the players if we keep clean sheets we will start climbing the table, because we’ve got enough quality
The Fulham head coach was also full of praise for young centre back Dan Burn who acquitted himself excellently on his home debut, describing the 21 year-old’s display as ‘a breath of fresh air’.