Fulham boss Scott Parker hopes his side can grow in confidence after knocking Premier League Aston Villa out of the FA Cup this afternoon.
The Whites saw their hopes of gaining automatic promotion from the Championship dealt a serious blow when they lost to Reading on New Year’s Day at Craven Cottage. Fulham got back to winning ways with an impressive win over a weakened Villa side thanks to superb strikes from Anthony Knockaert and substitute Harry Arter in the second half.
Knockaert’s individual goal was his first Fulham since September, whilst Arter marked his first appearance for the Whites since October with a goal just 105 seconds after replacing Kevin McDonald. Parker was full of praise for the impact of his brother-in-law:
Both goals were pretty special. But for Harry, in the sense he has been out for three months, he’s worked hard for some long and lonely days, and when you probably doubt what you have, to come on and score the winner probably justifies everything.
So for that moment, and for what it was, probably Harry’s was better. I’m pleased for him, he’s worked hard. He’s got himself a position and had a shot. It was a good moment. He came in at the beginning of the season and is a player we knew would give us something. It’s a shame he had a big injury but we all understand the player we’ve got. It’s moments like this, for both Harry and the team, that we need to build on.
The Fulham head coach was delighted with the application of his side, who coped admirably in the absence of Aleksandar Mitrovic, and the way in which they responded to being pegged back by their top flight visitors.
The result was pleasing and the performance was outstanding. We lacked a bit in the final third in the first half and we spoke about that at half-time, and in the second half we executed it very well. Hopefully we can build on that. Winning football games is vital for us. This team was used to losing and losing becomes a habit like winning does.
Big performances and big wins, against a Premier League side like Aston Villa, build belief. It’s a key moment for us in that sense.