Scott Parker praised his side’s commitment and desire after Fulham fired a warning to the rest of the Championship by ending Leeds’ eleven game unbeaten run at Craven Cottage.
The Whites brought their end dismal three-match losing streak to an end with a 2-1 win over second-placed Leeds, thanks to a first half penalty from Aleksandar Mitrovic and Josh Onomah’s first goal for the club. They had to weather a late Leeds rally to claim a precious victory – and Parker was delighted with the way his team had responded after their derby defeat at Brentford last week.
“The most overriding feeling I have at this moment in time is pride. I spoke to the players before the game and said: ‘You’re not getting judged today on technique or what a good football player you are. There are 20,000 coming here today and people are judging you, and me, on what you are like as a man. Can you stand up when the chips are down because the chips at this moment are down?’
Your eyes often don’t lie in football. That’s what people told me. Today I saw a team that was on the front foot, aggressive and determined to make a statement. A team that showed passion and desire. One man’s strength is never greater than a team of players. The team represented me and it represented what this football club is about. That’s what made me the happiest.
Coming off three straight losses, like we were, the most important thing was putting in a performance. At times last week we didn’t stick to our plan at Brentford, but to a man today this team executed the game plan and ultimately caused Leeds problems.
Parker was also full of praise for Onomah, who has endured a difficult start to his Fulham career. The former England under-21 international produced his most complete performance since moving to Craven Cottage in the summer – and lashed home the winner after Leeds had failed to clear a corner.
Josh has been fantastic and I am so, so pleased for him. I coached Josh when he was a 15-year-old boy at Spurs and I know what ability he’s got. I know everything about him. He came in here and he struggled a little bit. He would admit that. Everyone seeing him over the first few weeks was sceptical and would have had a lot of doubts, but he represented everything that I spoke about today – what character does and what passion does. He deserved his moment.