Kit Symons lavished praise on Ross McCormack after the Scottish striker’s brace saw off Sheffield United and booked Fulham’s place in the third round of the League Cup.

The Whites were made to wait until midway through the second half for the breakthrough against a much-changed Blades’ outfit but McCormack fired Fulham in front from the penalty spot after being impeded by Craig Alcock. He doubled the hosts’ lead with a lovely low finish from the edge of the box and young French striker Moussa Dembele rounded off the scoring with an excellent stoppage-time strike.

Symons said “We needed a win, it was as simple as that. Ideally I was after a performance and a win and I think we got both. I was very pleased overall.

“Ross looked very sharp tonight, he’s worked incredibly hard in pre-season, he’s the sharpest and the fittest he’s been since he’s been here at the club. You want to see that rewarded – he was a bit disappointed in the first four league games as we all were, so it’s good to see him up and running.

“Dembele needs to become more clinical in front of goal, because he had numerous chances, but many of them he created himself with his pace and his power. He worked very hard.

“Because of the way the results have gone we needed a good performance. There were a lot of boxes that needed to be ticked and thankfully we’ve done all that – we’ve played well.”