Scott Parker hailed Alphonse Areola’s outstanding display on the south coast as Fulham battled to a goalless draw with relegation rivals Brighton and Hove Albion this evening.

The Seagulls had the better of a nervy encounter but French goalkeeper Areola made a series of outstanding saves to keep a crucial clean sheet. The Fulham manager was full of praise for his custodian’s display in his post-match press conference:

He was big for us and he’s going to be big. Defensively I thought we were good, especially in the second half where we had to weather a lot of pressure certainly from set plays where Brighton are very good. Of course, the keeper’s had to pull off some big saves and has dominated his box really well.

Parker admitted to being disappointed overall with Fulham’s display at the AMEX Stadium, but was keen to stress just how far his side have come since a disastrous start to the season.

A little bit disappointed in the way we played overall. But this team only four months ago were having to try and score three or four goals to win a football match. Tonight we were solid, there’s been improvement for sure but still a lot of improvement to be had.

It was always going to take something sensational from the start of the season [to stay]. This is a young team with not much Premier League experience and it was always going to be a very tough ask for us this year. A team that needed to keep on improving and I think we’ve done that ten-fold. Of course, now the next challenge for us is ‘can we be a bit more clinical?’, ‘can we start turning these draws into wins?’.

With 19 games left of this season, I have full belief in my team. Big improvement in one area but like anything there’s not a magic wand and now we need to move onto the next one and try and get that other side to us which is going to be pivotal winning games.