Scott Parker praised his players’ courage after Fulham produced a flawless away display to stun Leicester City this evening and move out of the Premier League relegation zone.
The Whites’ goals came from two players who have had their share of setbacks this season. Both Ademola Lookman and Ivan Cavaleiro have missed crucial penalties for Fulham in recent weeks but Parker has kept faith with the pair – and the duo found the net in quick succession to give the Londoners’ an unassailable 2-0 lead before half-time at the King Power. Lookman struck first with a fine finish after Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s excellent run whilst Cavaleiro showed great height to score from the penalty spot after his miss from twelve yards against Everton a week ago.
Parker praised the bravery of his two forwards, who both put in their fair share of defensive work as the visitors largely nullified Brendan Rodgers’ side during an impressive away win. He told his post-match press conference:
Ade came under a lot of stick when he did the penalty (a chip against West Ham) and he needed to take his medicine. Cav slipped last week and I’m not on Twitter or Instagram but I can only imagine what was being said, the jokes at his expense and Cav would have seen that. I said to him: ‘Are you ready to take one if we get it?’ He looked at me dead in the eye and said: ‘I’m ready’. The courage, the bravery after a slip – to step up there. Those are the things we need. Those are the things that will determine what those players will become, how good they’ll become, and as a team what we’ll become.
Ade earned the right to score his goal and Cav put himself up to be scrutinised. There’s no denying there’s relief. We’re in a world where it’s win or lose for all of us and that’s the big picture. I’ve spoken to them about not letting defeats cripple us.
Parker also spoke about a touching tribute to the late Papa Bouba Diop, with Lookman lifting aloft one of the former Fulham midfielder’s Senegalese international shirts after scoring. Diop, who spent three years at Craven Cottage, died yesterday aged just 42:
The kitmen brought the shirt to the changing room and the players were shown it before the game. That was a decision we as a club made and the players were happy to do it. For someone to lose their life at a young age is tragic.