FULHAM's first away win of the season is just the tonic the Whites needed after losing three home games in a week - and could provide the boost to finish the season strongly.
But defender John Pantsil has downplayed the possibility of a Uefa Cup spot next season - even though they are only three points adrift of the seventh place currently occupied by West Ham, which may be enough to qualify.
That would be on the basis of the FA Cup winners coming from the top six - which looks odds on.
The Hammers dropped two points on Monday night to leave a carrot of the soon-tobe renamed Europa League dangling tantalisingly in front of Roy Hodgson and his men.
"The manager is trying hard to motivate us as much as possible to try and make the top six," Pantsil told the Gazette.
"With the players we've got and the manager, it will be possible - but maybe not this season.
"Next season we can do a bit better I think. We have quite a lot of new players so next year I think it is definitely possible for us to challenge for Europe.
"The club will expect more from us and we believe that with the players we have, and the manager, we are capable of doing something better for next season."
Pantsil's circumspection reflects the fact there was more relief than elation around Motspur Park this week.
After all, it has taken 15 games to break the away duck and the fact the Whites doubled their away goals tally for the season in a single afternoon still points to a team with room for improvement.
But suddenly the fatigue which seemed to bedevil Fulham in recent weeks looks irrelevant and there should be renewed vigour for the visit of man United on Saturday - particularly with no midweek game to sap energy levels this week.
"Now we've got this away win, the morale is going to come back," Pantsil told the Gazette.
"We have been a bit tired but now there is a bit of a break coming up so that will be good for us.
"We've been looking for our first away victory for a long time, so we are very, very happy. We need to continue like this and get as much from our remaining away games as possible now.
"We are happy that we can get points from all the games we have now. We concentrate on each game as it comes up and we want to win them all. We are ready for every team.
"There are difficult teams coming up, but we will stick together and at the end of it, we are confident we will get some points."
The Whites' displayed a potency in attack at Bolton which has been missing in their previous road trips - a turnaround that Pantsil feels owes much to the contribution of Clint Dempsey on Saturday.
"Clint is a machine in our team," Pantsil said.
"He is doing well and when he plays well, the team is better. He works hard and is always going for everything on the pitch.
"The team definitely appreciate his work-rate and know that he is right for us and the way we play. He's one of the key players in our team."
Pantsil continued: "There's a lot of competition in our team in all the positions, which is why everyone is working hard to get a position in the team. It really boosts our energy and performance, I think.
"It's great to see Diomansy Kamara get on the score sheet. It means the other players need to work hard to keep their places.
"But there's not really pressure. We respect each other and ourselves and if we get the chance to start a game, we believe in ourselves and know we can do the job."
Match Summary BOLTON WS (1) 1 FULHAM (1) 3 Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Dempsey; Johnson (Nevland 90), Zamora (Kamara 84). Subs not used: Zuberbühler, Gera, Dacourt, Stoor, Smalling. Attendance: 22,117 GOALS: Johnson (42), Kevin Davies (45), Simon Davies (56), Kamara (88). MoM: Clint Dempsey
Next Up: MAN UNITED
Craven Cottage Saturday 3pm Premier League
Manager: Alex Ferguson Position last season: Champions Form Guide: Progress towards an unprecedented quintuple of trophies was serene in the extreme until last weekend's shock 4-1 home defeat by Liverpool. The result may have given everyone else hope,but United are still four points clear at the top with a game in hand and through to the FA Cup semi-finals and Champions League quarter-finals. The loss to Liverpool was their first in the league since a November loss to Arsenal and only their fourth in all competitions since the campaign began. It also interrupted a run of 11 successive Premier league wins. Players to look out for: Whoever Ferguson selects from his squad of mega-stars will be watchable.
Most recent meetings: Fulham 0-4 Man United (7 Mar 2008) - FA Cup; Man United 3-0 Fulham (18 Feb 2008); Fulham 0-3 Man United (1 Mar 2008) - Prem Lge. Head-to-head record: BW Wins: 11 MU Wins: 41 Draws: 15
Match Facts: United have won nine in a row against Fulham and hit 12 goals without reply in the last four meetings. Fulham have lost twice to United in the past few weeks - the most recent clash being the FA Cup meeting at the Cottage a fortnight ago when Man U ran amok. United have won on their last three league visits too and Fulham last avoided defeat in December 2004, when the sides drew 1-1. You have to go back to September 1964 to find the last home win for Fulham over Man U - there have been 14 winless games since then. [25a0] Forecast: United may have wobbled last week - and Fulham will be buoyed by their first away win of the season - but it still looks odds-on for a third success for the Reds over the Whites this term.
Gazette forecast success rate: 19 correct out of 36 (53%).