Ola Aina pointed to Fulham’s significant defensive progress after the Whites blunted in-form Southampton and picked up another point at Craven Cottage yesterday afternoon.

Scott Parker’s side restricted the Saints to just three shots on target – their worst return in the league for some seventeen seasons – and have now not conceded from open play in some 445 minutes. Aina recognises the drastic improvement since a dreadful start to the season, but believes the credit should be spread far wider than just Fulham’s new-look back five. He told the club’s official website:

We all know how it was at the beginning of the season, so from that point to now, it just shows the hard work that we’re putting in, as well as the togetherness that we have. But I don’t think it’s only the backline you know, it goes throughout the team, it starts from the top. If it didn’t start at the top, then the opposition would get more chances on our goal, so the whole team has done well to get us these clean sheets.

The Nigerian international, who put in possibly his most complete performance in a Fulham shirt yesterday, added that he is enjoying his new role as a centre back alongside the impressive Joachim Andersen and Tosin Adarabioyo.

Normally I would be playing a bit wider, a bit further up the pitch, but I’ve always said that I’ll put a shift in wherever I’m placed. I’m in a back three at the minute and I’m really enjoying it, I feel really comfortable there.

The on-loan Torino defender almost snatched a late winner when his goalbound strike in injury-time was blocked by Jack Stephens, but Aina felt Fulham were good value for the point.

I hit it sweet enough and I think it was going in, but it was a great block from Stephens. It was such a good block that I had to tell him that afterwards! There were a couple of VAR decisions that went in our favour, but it was just one of those afternoons with a lot of buts and ifs, like you said, but it’s good to get the clean sheet and build on from that. It’s big for us to be getting clean sheets, it shows we’re working well.