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Spirit saw us home - Joe

Joe Jordan felt the players’ sheer will to win got the team over the finishing line at Fulham on Sunday.

Joe Jordan felt the players’ sheer will to win got the team over the finishing line at Fulham on Sunday.

Goals from Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe secured a 3-1 victory and a seventh win in our last eight Premier League matches.

But the scoreline alone hardly tells the story of a serious examination at Craven Cottage.

Gareth and Aaron’s goals left us looking comfortable 2-0 up at half-time but Fulham came flying back in the second half.

They’d already gone close three times when Younes Kaboul unfortunately deflected the ball into his own goal for 2-1 after 57 minutes.

We then had to withstand a full half-hour of pressure. Brad Friedel made fine saves, Ledley King blocked a goalbound shot and defensively we were tested to the limit.

It all culminated in an amazing last couple of minutes of added time where Brad denied Clint Dempsey and we survived the ensuing scramble, then he saved again from Brede Hangeland and Luka Modric cleared off the line.

We moved straight up the other end and clinched the points with the last kick of the game as JD volleyed home from Emmanuel Adebayor’s cross.

“In the first half we did well and deservedly went in front,” said first team coach Joe.

“It was the complete opposite in the second half. We gave them too much space, dropped too deep and allowed them to dominate.

“For the last half-hour, not just the last 10 minutes, we had to hang in there. We had to show determination, spirit and be resilient. In the end the third goal was a bonus, we didn’t see that coming.

“We didn't play particularly well in the second half - we have to play better than that - but there are other elements you need in the team to have consistency and to be up there at the top of the league.

“You've seen a spirit and camaraderie that you need. You can't get through all these games just playing silky football. In the second half we didn't show that quality but the determination to get the three points came through.”