Fulham’s victory against relegation-threatened Charlton will ease the Whites’ relegation fears
Goals from Tom Cairney and Michael Madl helped the hosts to victory to bounce back from a 3-0 drubbing at Blackburn on Tuesday night.
And as Cottagers fans started to breathe a sigh of relief after a tense match, here are five things we learned.
The Fulham defence again had their shaky moments
Fulham opened the match in decent enough fashion, but a well-drilled Charlton were more than capable of causing problems on the break.
Callum Harriott caused the Whites all sorts of problems, with electric pace and fine dribbling which left the hosts holding on at times.
In fact, things only got better for Slavisa Jokanovic’s men when the manager brought on the defensive-minded Chris Baird and centre-back Michael Madl at half time.
Chris Baird will do a fine job
The Northern Irishman did a solid enough job on his return to Craven Cottage.
Playing in his favoured central midfield role, Baird did the simple things well, he helped the team tick and won battles.
If he continues in that form, he will provide a useful presence for Slavisa Jokanovic’s men.
The club must make sure they keep Tom Cairney
As if we needed telling, Fulham’s summer signing from Blackburn is a consistent performer, and he has a lethal shot to boot.
Cairney’s first was a well hit effort from close range, and his second a brilliant volley from the edge of the box.
He is a player who specialises in fine strikes, as he did against Hull earlier this season, and Fulham need to keep hold of him - especially if Moussa Dembele and Ross McCormack leave.
Whites cannot afford the same slow start as this game produced
Fulham may have breezed to a comfortable win against their struggling rivals, but in reality the Addicks were in the game until Cairney’s second strike.
It was an OK start by Fulham, but they lacked any incision and failed to keep hold of the ball. For a while it was hard to believe the Cottagers were higher in the table.
They eventually battled through for the three points - but Jokanovic will know his side still require major improvement.
Ryan Tunnicliffe Fulham’s energetic midfielder made a return to the pitch late in the second half, but he will need to keep 'enthusiasm' in checkAfter recovering from injury, Tunnicliffe steamed into a fierce tackle moments after arriving, which could quite easily have seen the midfielder sent straight off.
Fortunately for the Whites, they didn’t, and his performance otherwise was promising for a side desperate to keep their options available.
By the way, look who predicted a win today as far back as Wednesday, as you will see here? Trumpet blown.