Scott Parker hailed the decisive contribution of ‘fantastic’ substitute Josh Onomah after the midfielder scored a late winner to beat Birmingham City and breathe new life into Fulham’s promotion push.
The Fulham manager described his side’s narrow victory as ‘massive’ with the gap to second-placed West Brom, who play tomorrow, reduced to just four points. Parker believes there are plenty ‘more twists and turns’ to come and wants his team to keep up the momentum when they travel to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest, who they leapfrogged in the table today, on Tuesday.
Parker told his post-match press conference at Craven Cottage:
It’s a massive win for us, the gap is down to four points now. In this division, with the amount of games there are, there will be more twists and turns. Our main focus is to win games and we’ve got tough ones coming up. I think whether you’re playing top, mid table or bottom, every game will be huge. These are ones we need to prepare for and try and get on a good run. Back-to-back wins are huge.
He was particularly pleased with the Onomah’s impact and the performances of all of his substitutes after a dire first half.
Josh has been fantastic since he came in, I’ve worked with him since he was a young player. The subs were excellent when they came on. Joe Bryan was excellent when he came in, so was Neeskens [Kebano], and obviously Josh got his winner. It was a good day in the end and it was massive.
Parker admitted that he was left questioning whether Fulham would manage to get a winner after Birmingham goalkeeper Lee Camp pulled off a stupendous double save to deny Bryan and Bobby Decordova-Reid in the closing stages.
We started to wonder whether it was going to be our day after the great double save. We came up against a team in which it was very evident that they’d come to play for a draw. We needed to be patient. It was always going to be a game lacking massive chances. When they come your way, you need to take them. In the end, we deserved to win.
He praised his charges for finding a way to win a second successive game without the services of suspended top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic up front.
Fair play to my team, we’ve had to alter things and still be an attacking threat. We dominated for the majority of today and as much as we miss Aleks, we have a group that are engaged. We are finding ways to win games.