Fulham’s character can help them succeed in their quest for Premier League status next season.
That’s the verdict of boss Scott Parker after the Whites worked hard to see off sixth-placed Preston 2-0, who arrived in west London only four points behind.
While not a vintage performance by Parker’s men at Craven Cottage, it was their second win at home in four days.
However, the good fortune was initially a result of Preston striker David Nugent heading into his own net to break the deadlock in the 58th minute.
With the Lancashire side understandably desperate for a late leveller, it fell to Fulham substitute Abou Kamara to burst beyond the tired visitors to end the contest in stoppage time.
It was the forward’s fourth goal of the season, a vital intervention in what was always poised to be a challenging afternoon.
“I’m pleased about the dogged display,” Parker admitted.
“The first 20 minutes we had to weather a storm. Preston had a day extra in their recovery and put pressure on us. I felt that one goal might decide the game and we managed to get that. After that I felt we were in the ascendancy.
“We need to embrace this expectation. If you want to be a top team you need something a bit different, to have character. We’re slowly getting there.”
Fulham have an intense batch of fixtures coming up in March, starting with a trip to Bristol City next Saturday, before a west London derby at home to promotion-chasing Brentford.
“It’s always important to win matches – we’ve come out of a busy schedule and to go into a busy periods with 10 games left it’s about our mentality now,” explained Parker, who lost defender Joe Bryan to a hamstring injury as early as the eighth minute.
“West Brom and Leeds have been the best and most consistent in the division. They’re top teams and we have them both to play but we need to concentrate first on Bristol.
“My main focus is to worry about us. This division brings surprises week-in, week-out, so if you look too far ahead you can be jabbed on the nose.
“I look at my players and we have a bit of belief about us now. The dramatic way we won says that I see a group of players prepared to grind out a result.”