• By Yann Tear

Parker full of praise for way his players coped with pressure to beat the Blades


Scott Parker hailed his team's ability to cope with the pressure of Saturday night's must-win clash with Sheffield United as they came away with only a fourth win of the campaign.

Ademola Lookman's goal on the hour was enough to get the better of the rock-bottom Blades and it brings the Whites to within three points on Newcastle, and safety after a mini run of seven points from three games.

It was a game Fulham knew they simply had to win and, though it was far from pretty, they had the character to get over the line.

"I'm very proud of the team. Proud in terms of what I asked them tonight, because pressure was on," said the Fulham boss.

"It was a result game tonight, with performance second.

"Throughout the year that pressure has been there in many different ways - the question marks over whether this team is good enough for this level and can you win games instead of drawing them.

Throughout that pressure they've managed to come out of it. It was a big one."

Parker continued: "It's been a tough week in terms of the games we've had to play - the travel we had to do and I think we all understood tonight what this game was about.

"The focus before the start was on us. Let's not listen to the noise created around this game.

We've shown that with our quality, playing with a freedom, we'll get results and I think that was proven tonight.

"There is not one question from me about what you see there in a group of players - including the ones who are not involved. This group of players is honest, want to learn, want to get better, understand the challenge of this league and what it brings sometimes.

"What you need in this moment - in top teams - is people who are constant, Monday to Friday, and get better and I think that's what you're seeing out there. This team has belief and confidence and that's what we need to continue."

Parker added: "I'm not looking at who's above us and who's around us, all I'm focusing on is us and what we need to do. When the curtain comes down at the end of the season, we'll either be good enough to stay in this division or not, but my message is let's keep fighting, let's keep improving, let's keep moving."

Parker was happy to single out midfielders Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Harrison Reed for their contributions.

He said: "They were both exceptional. Immense. Ruben we all understand his qualities and Harrison has been pivotal. Two players who are young and have not had loads and loads of football at this level, but certainly their taking to it very, very well."


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