Fulham boss Roy Hodgson highlighted the importance of Damien Duff making an instant impact at Craven Cottage following the winger’s strike against Everton yesterday.
Duff, who was making his third appearance for the club after arriving from Newcastle, struck the winner with a powerful drive to send Roy Hodgson’s men 10th in the table after their first win since the opening weekend of the Barclays Premier League season.
“It was a wonderful goal and he played well throughout the game,” Hodgson said. “His crossing was good and it was nice to cap his second home game with a goal. It’s important when you move clubs to show the fans immediately what you can do.”
Victory did not look likely at half-time when the visitors led through Tim Cahill’s header – but Fulham upped their tempo after the break and levelled when Paul Konchesky’s shot deflected in off Sylvain Distin.
Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy said: “We just kept going and worked hard. The first half was very even but I thought we played with a better tempo in the second half, scoring two good goals.
“It’s nice to get another win under our belts, especially at the Cottage. It gives us a bit of breathing space and we can look forward with confidence instead of thinking we need a win.”
There was an unsavoury incident just after the hour mark when Dickson Etuhu clashed with Phil Neville and left the Everton captain with a gash on his left knee. Etuhu appeared to catch Neville with his studs as he followed through on a tackle.
“It was a bad miss for the referee to miss that,” said Everton boss David Moyes. “In the football we play now it doesn’t go on and I thought it warranted a free-kick and a yellow card.
“Phil has got a gash on his knee but he is not going to hospital. We will assess it later.”
After working with Etuhu at Preston, Moyes feels the midfielder would not deliberately injure an opponent.
“I know Dickson quite well and I don’t think he’s that type of player,” the Scot added. “But I thought he was late getting there.”
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson added: “I’m convinced there was no intent on Dickson’s part. From what I understand it was the follow-through that caught Phil.
“It would be very disappointing if Dickson was accused of that because it was the ultimate 50-50 ball. We’re really, really sorry it happened and wish Phil all the best.”