A modest Scott Malone played down the quality of his stunning strike that killed off Barnsley at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
The former Cardiff full-back conjured up a magnificent finish from the edge of the box to give Fulham some breathing space in the second half against the Tykes, but admitted that his bewildered celebration was more to do with not being used to scoring as regularly as he has been doing since joining the Cottagers in the summer. Malone, who opened his Fulham account with a cross-cum-shot at Oakwell in October, told BBC Radio London that his ‘lucky’ finish owed plenty to the vision of the returning Chris Martin:
It was a perfect ball from Chrissy [Martin], it was there to be hit. I closed my eyes and hit it and it went in, luckily! I was in shock that it had actually gone in. Someone said, ‘That could have gone anywhere,’ I was, like, ‘Yeah, you’re not wrong’. It was more shock really. I didn’t know what to do. I don’t score many, so I don’t really know what to do.
Malone was full of praise for Fulham’s attacking ability after his team-mates turned in a top drawer performance against another of the promotion contenders.
We’re good going forward. I think we’ve nailed the defensive side now, I think we’ve got quite a few clean sheets this season. We’re so good going forward, keeping possession, we’re the best in the league at it. Some of the attacking play – I mean TC [Tom Cairney], Stefan [Johansen], Kev McDonald and the front three are just superb. I think we’re in the right frame of mind on a Saturday afternoon, I don’t think many can live with us in this league.
He was in little doubt, however, about what Fulham will have to do if they want to make sure of a spot in the Championship play-off places come May:
Consistency and winning games. I think you look at the top six, they’re winning games regularly. I think we need to keep winning, not dropping points, keep momentum up. I think scoring goals and keeping clean sheets. I think if we keep clean sheets, more often than not we’ve got enough firepower going forward to win games, I think that’s what we need to do.