Kit Symons was delighted that Fulham rounded off their summer tour of Portugal with a 3-1 win over Premier League Aston Villa on Saturday night.
The Whites comfortably won their first pre-season friendly thanks to goals from Matt Smith, Alex Kacaniklic and Ross McCormack and the Fulham manager felt the positive result was ‘the icing on the cake’ after a tough week’s physical training and warm weather preparation for the season ahead.
It’s been a really good week. The boys have worked incredibly hard and we asked them to put into practice some of the things that we’d been working on during the course of the week’s training. So when that happens and you see it coming off it’s obviously very rewarding.
They’ve been brilliant this week, they’ve worked their socks off and have been fantastic. It’s a pre-season game but winning’s not the worst habit to get into, and hopefully we can be doing a lot of that this season. We wanted to win the game, absolutely. We put a different team out in both halves but everybody who stepped on the pitch for us wants to put an absolute shift in, and they did all the things that we asked of them.
When you get that it gives you a great chance of being successful in football matches. Even if we hadn’t won, going forward we would still be successful in my opinion if everyone’s singing from the same hymn sheet and everybody wants to do the right things.
Symons was delighted with the manner of Fulham’s three goals that shows his side are capable of scoring in different ways. Matt Smith’s opener was an instinctive close range finish, while even Kacaniklic was surprised by the quality of his own twenty-yard finish and McCormack completed the scoring after Adam Taggart had stripped Villa of possession near the halfway line.
It’s about getting a balance. We need to have a balance throughout our side and be able to score different types of goals, so that’s very, very encouraging. If you’re one dimensional and you’ve only got one way of playing it can be easy for teams to play against you. The boys were excellent. We worked on high pressing in training – even though it’s incredibly hot in Portugal, we knew that most people would only play 45 minutes each, and they could cope with that.
The fitness levels, although it’s early pre-season, are at a good stage already. There’s no points in the bag or anything but it was a really good performance and to get the result as well is the icing on the cake.