Scott Parker praises ‘courage’ of Fulham forwards after vital win at Leicester

Scott Parker praised the bravery of his Fulham strikers after they fired the Cottagers to victory at Leicester.

Ivan Cavaleiro struck from the spot after Ademola Lookman’s opener to give the visitors a 2-1 win on Monday.

Harvey Barnes’ late goal ensured a nervy finish but Fulham held on to climb out of the Premier League’s drop zone.

Both Cavaleiro and Lookman have been criticised this season for missing penalties – Fulham having squandered three this season – but boss Parker believes they stood up when it mattered.

He said: “Ade came under a lot of stick when he did the penalty (a chip against West Ham) and he needed to take his medicine.

“Cav slipped last week and I’m not on Twitter or Instagram but I can only imagine what was being said, the jokes at his expense and Cav would have seen that.

“I said to him: ‘Are you ready to take one if we get it?’ He looked at me dead in the eye and said: ‘I’m ready’.

“The courage to step up there are the things we need. Ade earned the right to score his goal and Cav put himself up to be scrutinised.

“There’s no denying there’s relief. We’re in a world where it’s win or lose for all of us and that’s the big picture. I’ve spoken to them about not letting defeats cripple us.”

Leicester twice came close to opening the scoring after 19 minutes when James Maddison’s free-kick hit the wall.

The ball bounced to Youri Tielemans who hit the post, with the rebound falling for Wesley Fofana but he struck the bar from six yards.

It was costly and Fulham took the lead 11 minutes later when Andre-Frank Anguissa’s strong run ended with the midfielder slipping Lookman through and he took a touch before beating Kasper Schmeichel.

Fulham celebrated with a Senegal shirt to pay tribute to former midfielder Papa Bouba Diop, who died on Sunday.

Parker added: “The kitmen brought the shirt to the changing room and the players were shown it before the game.

“That was a decision we as a club made and the players were happy to do it. For someone to lose their life at a young age is tragic.”

The Cottagers grabbed a second eight minutes later after VAR intervened to help award them a penalty.

Play continued after Bobby Decordova-Reid went down under a challenge from Christian Fuchs before it was checked and referee Simon Hooper went to his screen.

He pointed to the spot and, after penalties woes this season, Cavaleiro – who ballooned over against Everton last week – fired in.

Leicester had little response until the 86th minute when Barnes scored his fifth of the season from Jamie Vardy’s knockdown.

But Fulham held on to deny the Foxes, who remain fourth, the chance to move level on points with Tottenham and Liverpool at the top.

Boss Brendan Rodgers said: “We’re disappointed, mistakes were made in the first half and it was an uphill climb. We had a lot more of the ball but lacked creativity.

“I thought Fulham deserved to win it, they had more energy in the first half and pounced on our mistakes and in the second half they dropped deep.

“It was more to do with ourselves, we knew they would be compact and tight but in the first half the speed and creativity in our game was not there.

“You can’t get away from the fact the players up until this point have done fantastically, considering the quality of players we’ve had out.

“In the last few games we’ve made mistakes and got punished. It’s a young team and sometimes they play young.”