Fulham boss Marco Silva said Tom Cairney’s goalscoring return is a reward for the hard work the midfielder has put in during 10 months on the sidelines.
Cairney opened the scoring in a 2-0 win over Cardiff at Craven Cottage after coming on at half-time for Harrison Reed, who was forced off with a calf injury, with the win helping Fulham move to second spot in the table.
“We can take many positives from the game. We scored two good goals, we kept being patient and kept playing the same way,” Silva said.
“The first goal was important for us as the game was more open and there was space for us to explore.
“It was a clean sheet too, which is important as well, and it was important for Tom to score.
“He deserves it after all these months out and it has been so tough for him, so good to come back with a goal after working so hard in the gym which has been so hard for him.
“You can imagine how happy he is, these feelings in the moment are great and he helped the team win the game.
“I had to decide on him or Josh Onomah to bring on and brought him on to give more creativity in that position which he did.”
Reed, who missed the start of the season with a similar injury, has been a key player in Fulham’s improved performances and Silva said hopes he will be fit to face Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
“I am waiting on the feedback of the medical staff about the calf,” Silva said.
“I don’t think it is serious, but we will have to wait and see what the scans say.”