• By Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Parker admits: 'We needed that' after Fulham bag first Premier League victory of the season


Scott Parker has conceded that Fulham's first win of the season is a huge relief – and will serve to renew belief within his squad that they are improving.

First-half goals from Bobby Reid and Ola Aina (pictured) secured a 2-0 victory over fellow-strugglers West Brom in Monday night’s encounter at Craven Cottage and it was enough to lift the Whites out of the bottom three.

But more than that, it is a massive shot in the arm after a miserable start to the campaign, which included three defeats in the opening three home matches.

“Obviously, the result was very important and we all understood that, because performance wise we are progressing in the right way, but for everyone at the club, we needed the win and we’ve got that,” said Fulham’s head coach.

“Along the way this season we are going to have a lot of bumps – I'm not afraid to say that – but there probably is a little bit of relief. You want to win matches to gain that confidence.

“Being out of the bottom three doesn’t mean anything really. That’s really irrelevant to me at this moment. What’s relevant is the team moving in the right direction and improving and I have seen that. I’ve seen that in the weeks before this.

“I’ve got a very good team here and a bunch of players that are really open to understanding that along the way we are going to make mistakes and that it’s going to be difficult at times.

“Anyone watching us with an open mind and seeing us for what we are can see where we need to improve and can also see we have big quality as well. In the second half we had other elements and some lovely bits. And we were pretty solid. It’s something to build on.”

Parker added: “All round, it was a very, very good performance. I thought we had real endeavour about us and showed our quality. We were well worthy of the two goals.

“And what pleased me most was the way we managed the game in the second half, against a team we knew would come out and put us under pressure. We managed the situation very, very well.

“We are going to have to play a little bit differently from last year. We are going to have to take risks a little bit – with shots in and around the box. Ola did that. He took a shot and it’s flown into the top corner. That was pleasing.”

Baggies boss Slaven Bilic said of the Whites: “They were stronger than us, they were sharper, quicker, better in passing, better in one against one. Better in the areas that make a difference. They were much better than us.”