WOLVES manager Mick McCarthy praised his side’s hard work and determination after they beat Fulham to record a first home victory of the season.
Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle opened his account for the club, having joined from Reading for £6.5 million (€7.2m) in the summer, before David Edwards added a second just after the interval.
Fulham captain Danny Murphy scored a penalty midway through the second half but the Cottagers’ increased pressure after that came too late to force an equaliser.
“We won’t win anything if we don’t work hard,” said McCarthy.
“I thought it was a really good performance. We were energetic, we closed them down and pressed the ball really well.
“Having seen them play last week (when the Cottagers won 2-1 at home to Everton) I thought we handled it well and we only really suffered when we gave the penalty away. I think we were just starting to get a bit leg-weary and then it became nervy.”
Although Doyle will grab the headlines with his first goal, McCarthy singled out centre-back Christophe Berra – whose flick-on set up the Irishman’s goal – for particular credit.
“It was a good team performance. There have to be a lot of good performances for us to have won that game but I thought Christophe was a difference class,” he added. “I believe he got man of the match, he’d have got my vote. In the last 10 minutes when they were throwing balls into the box he headed everything.”
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson was surprised by his side’s poor performance, especially as the players had been given all week to prepare after sending a second string side to Sofia in the Europa Cup in midweek.
“We left it late to start playing the football we should be playing,” said Hodgson.
“All credit to Wolves, their pressurising and controlled aggression made life difficult. We didn’t deal with that, it’s as simple as that.
“I thought it was a performance, for 60 minutes, most unlike us. I’ve not seen us give the ball away or miss as many passes as much as we did in that game.
“This team did not play in Europe – the only player who did was John Pantsil – so they have no excuses.
“We made two rather blatant errors and we were punished for both.”
WOLVES: Hennessey, Halford, Mancienne, Berra, Elokobi, Edwards (Maierhofer 70), Henry, Castillo, Jarvis (Kightly 86), Doyle (Ebanks-Blake 77), Keogh.
FULHAM: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky (Greening 71), Duff, Etuhu (Kamara 77), Murphy, Dempsey (Davies 61), Andrew Johnson, Zamora.
Referee: Kevin Friend
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved