Claudio Ranieri hailed Fulham’s fighting spirit after the Whites roared back from two goals down to beat Brighton and Hove Albion and breathe new life into their battle against the drop.
Fulham found themselves 2-0 down to a pair of Glenn Murray goals inside seven minutes and Ranieri was forced to abandon his back five by introducing Tom Cairney from the bench with less than half an hour played. The Italian replaced Andre Schurrle with Luciano Vietto at half-time and the impact was immediate with goals from Calum Chambers, a brace from Aleksandar Mitrovic and Vietto’s first Fulham goal securing a priceless win.
Ranieri told his post-match press conference:
“It was a very strange match. After 17 minutes we were down 2-0 and at that moment I said to myself it is much better to concede now rather than at the end, where you don’t have time to react.
It was good because we reacted immediately, even in the first half despite not scoring a goal. The Chambers goal was very important as it gave all the other players more confidence, which allowed them to think we can win tonight. We deserved to win and we played very good football. Tonight we provided Mitrovi? with good crosses, and with crosses Mitrovi? is a very dangerous player. Calum’s goal was also very good as we had very good build-up play leading up to it.
At half-time I gave my players positivity and let them know that we are still in the match. We had to move the ball very quickly and try and find a solution to break the lines with Mitrovi?, Cairney, Vietto and Babel. Babel gave us some experience and leadership, every time he received the ball he was very calm and did something good for the team, the other players also followed him.
These three points mean that we are alive, we can see a little light but it is only a little step forwards. I want to keep seeing this fighting spirit shown this evening.For us every match is tough but they are crucial because we are in the relegation zone. We are confident – this match and result tonight was very important for us. We believe always but tomorrow we have to restart because we have another tough match ahead of us on Saturday.