Caretaker manager Scott Parker hailed the character of his Fulham players after they bounced back from Premier League relegation to secure a rare victory against Everton.
A 4-1 defeat to Watford on April 2 condemned Fulham to Championship football next season, but they managed to provide their fans with some enjoyment on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Everton at Craven Cottage.
Captain Tom Cairney opened the scoring with just the second Premier League goal of his career and his first since scoring against the Toffees for Hull City in March 2010 before Ryan Babel wrapped up all three points.
It was a fine performance from the Cottagers and one which could strengthen Parker’s chances of being handed the job permanently as the club continue to mull over the options of a successor to Claudio Ranieri.
The former England midfielder lavished praise on his side after the victory, saying: “If ever the focus was on this team it was now. We realised the challenge ahead, staying in the Premier League, was tough.
“But once we were relegated it would have been easy and questions have been asked of me, ‘Are your players still up for the fight or on the beach?’
“Ultimately they answered those questions. For me, the fans and everyone else that character was brought into play today and certainly the players proved people wrong and showed real fight and determination.”
Fulham return to action on Saturday when they make the trip to the Vitality Stadium to take on a Bournemouth side that thumped Brighton 5-0 at the AMEX last time out.
The Cottagers then take on Cardiff City and Wolves before rounding off their campaign with a home clash against Newcastle United.