Stefan Johansen hailed Fulham’s Boxing Day win at Cardiff as ‘a complete performance’ and was delighted to mark a return to form with a sumptuous chip that sealed the win in South Wales.
The Norwegian midfielder told FulhamFCTV after the final whistle that he is feeling ‘better and better’ with each passing week as he continues to recover from a niggling groin injury and was delighted with the quality of the Whites’ display as they ended Cardiff’s unbeaten home record in some style.
We knew it was going to be a tough game against a good team. We came here to win the game and we knew it was going to be a fight, but I thought we dealt well with that.
I feel better and better for every week that goes by now and the team is starting to look better and better as well. I think we just need to keep on going now and pick up three points.
Johansen’s goal, which came in the seventh minute of stoppage time after Cardiff had threatened to set up a grandstand finale with a late effort of their own, was a thing of real beauty as he capped a 60-yard run to latch onto Ryan Fredericks’ clearance by audaciously chipping former Fulham goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
You just need to look at the goalie there and try to do what you think is best – and sometimes you can even go around him as well. He didn’t come that much off his line first but I knew he was going to dive, so I just tried to chip it. Luckily for me it went in! It was a nice goal.
The former Celtic midfielder saluted Fulham’s defensive solidity and believes maintaining an excellent recent run will build confidence within the squad that Slavisa Jokanovic’s side can mount a genuine play-off challenge in the second half of the season.
I think we can play better football than we did today. It was tough conditions with the heavy rain and the pitch was heavy, but as a team I think we looked much better than we have done earlier. We stick more together and we are more compact as a team and it is harder to create chances against us. That’s an important thing about football – you can go offensive and play nice football, [but] you also need to defend.
We have said all season that we haven’t really played our best football yet. We know at Christmas time it’s loads of games coming – if you can keep on winning when games are tight, building momentum is always a good thing.