Fulham manager Martin Jol praised new signing Pavel Pogrebnyak after his debut goal helped the west Londoners defeat Stoke today.
But there was an entirely different reaction to the Russia international from Stoke boss Tony Pulis, who claimed the striker might have been sent off for a foul on Wilson Palacios.
Pogrebnyak joined from German side Stuttgart on transfer deadline day and quickly made his mark at Craven Cottage.
Despite training with his new team-mates for the first time only two days ago, Pogrebnyak fitted in seamlessly as he looked to fill the void left by Bobby Zamora’s departure to QPR.
The 28-year-old, who has penned a deal until the end of the season, fired home 16 minutes into his debut, with Thomas Sorensen’s own goal helping Jol’s side to a 2-1 victory.
“We had somebody over with him during the process of getting his work permit,” the Dutchman said. “He worked well and was fit.
“As you know, we don’t have a lot of number nines at this club and he was keen to start.
“That was a positive thing and it meant Clint [Dempsey] could play in his position.
“You always have to wait and see how somebody will do when they come from abroad.”
Of the short-term deal, Jol said: “I want players when I approach them that want to play for us.
“He said, ’Okay, I will play for the next four or five months and then we will wait and see’. It was a brave decision.”
Pogrebnyak’s afternoon ended in the 62nd minute as he hobbled off injured after falling awkwardly in a challenge with Ryan Shawcross.
Jol revealed the striker picked up an ankle injury but did not disclose the severity.
“In the first 10 minutes or so he realised that this was a different league to what he is used to,” Jol added.
“On the game itself, I am happy with Mousa Dembele’s performance in central midfield.
“The first half we played in the style I would like us to play and scored two very good goals in the first half an hour.
“I think in the second half they really pressed us and we couldn’t play our football anymore.
“I’ve got to say it is an unbelievable style you have to play against and we stood up to the challenge.
“We could have scored a third one in the final minute so it is a big, big difference.”
While Fulham arguably deserved victory, Stoke ensured a nervy ending to the match when captain Shawcross reduced the deficit from a corner.
Stoke manager Pulis struck a frustrated figure after watching his fall to a fourth successive league defeat, which he felt could have been avoided if Pogrebnyak had been dismissed in the first half.
Shortly after breaking the deadlock, the striker clattered Palacios and the Stoke boss believes it was worse than the challenge that saw Potters defender Robert Huth sent off last week.
“I’m not sure we just came to life in the last 10 minutes,” Pulis said.
“We did very well in the second half and we were the better team. We just aren’t getting the breaks at the moment.
“We gave them a leg-up with the two goals, two poor goals.
“In the second half I thought we were the ones, though Kenwyne [Jones] missed a great chance to make it 2-1 in the first half.
“I was really pleased with the way we fought back. Ryan got the goal and we could have got a second one, but we aren’t getting the breaks.
“Last week we had Robert Huth sent off for a challenge where he is going in and has pulled his two feet away and had both feet facing the ground.
“We have seen a challenge today from the Russian lad on Palacios where he catches Wilson on the knee. The referee didn’t see it.
“Kevin Friend, the fourth official, is stood where we are and it was a very poor challenge.
“The kid doesn’t even get a yellow card. The inconsistency in respect of incidents this season is really, really poor.
“I am really disappointed. Last week we had a player sent off. This week, for a worse challenge, and I think you will watch and agree, the lad doesn’t even get a yellow card.”