BY DANIEL MARSH
Scott Parker hailed the importance of Bobby Decordova-Reid after he stepped off the bench to fire Fulham into the fourth round of the FA Cup at QPR’s expense.
The striker produced a sweet first-time finish from the edge of the box in the 104th minute to finally hand Fulham the lead after a 90 minutes dominated by lacklustre finishing from both sides. Fellow substitute Neeskens Kebano followed up with a second just minutes later to seal a 2-0 win.
And Whites head coach Parker was full of praise for the goalscorer.
“He’s very important. He’s got a real knack of being in the right areas and he’s got an eye for a goal, which we’re gonna need certainly where we are. He can get goals for us this year. Bob’s finish today was fantastic really. I’m pleased for him today and pleased for him overall this season, he’s been fantastic.
“It was a tough game. Last year, we played QPR twice and it was a tough game. I think over 90 minutes on chances, we both punched our way a little bit. Both teams had some good chances. But I’m pleased in the end. After the couple of weeks we’ve had, to go to extra time and look as strong as we did was pleasing and to get a couple of finishes to seal the game.”
Fulham made seven changes from their last competitive game back at Southampton on Boxing Day, with the likes of Terence Kongolo, Josh Onomah and Kenny Tete all making returns after spells out with injury.
Parker added: “We are where we are with the squad. Three players out there who started the game – Terence [Kongolo] hasn’t played for nearly a year, it’s his first game back. Josh Onomah hasn’t played for some time and obviously Kenny Tete as well. We had to move it around a little bit with the squad because that’s the position we’re in at the moment. But I’m pleased overall. Momentum sticks with us, it’s a win – unbeaten now in five and a clean sheet as well. So a lot of positives out there today and that was pleasing.
“They can be very important. They’re going to be massively important for us. Terence, it’s probably been close to 10,11 months out – that was his first competitive game for that time, so really, really impressed with him. He’s still got bits to go and the same with Kenny really. I thought again, a really, really good performance, a solid performance. They need to stay fit and keep getting stronger because they’re going to be vital for us this year in terms of keeping us improving.
“I thought Josh [Onomah] was superb to be honest with you. I didn’t expect the performance in terms of physically how well he did, certainly going into extra time. The conditioning guys have done a fantastic job with him.
“That was his first game for some time. I thought it was the Josh Onomah we’ve come to see and come to know really so I was very, very pleased. He looked powerful. Of course, I think we all understand from last year he’s got quality Josh, he’s got a big part to play. There’s still more to come, I always say that about Josh, there’s always more.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD
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