Bryan Ruiz hails Fulham team-work after victory over Tottenham
The Cottagers won 1-0 thanks to Berbatov's winner
Monday 18 March 2013
Forward Bryan Ruiz believes Fulham's battling 1-0 win at Tottenham showed Martin Jol's side are not just all about Dimitar Berbatov.
The Bulgarian netted what proved to be the winner against his old club just before the hour at White Hart Lane yesterday, where a below-par Spurs slumped to a second successive Barclays Premier League defeat.
While Berbatov's strike - sweeping home a low cross from Sascha Riether following a swift counter attack - may have put the forward in the headlines and won post-match plaudits from his manager, it could have been so different but for a couple of brilliant late reaction saves from goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to deny Spurs substitute Jermain Defoe.
Ruiz is in no doubt Fulham's hard work from front to back is all about collective effort as the Cottagers look to cement a top-10 finish
"People talk a lot about Berbatov, and we agree that he is a good player, but it is team work, and he also thinks about that," the Costa Rica forward said.
"He is doing good, but all the team is doing well, playing good from behind and that is one thing he cannot do on his own.
"It is great to play alongside him, but it is about team-work.
"We showed that against Tottenham when we defended very well, Berbatov's best quality is not to defend, so all the players did a great job and also used the qualities that Berbatov has."
Consistency has proven difficult for Fulham to come by this season, but two wins from an unbeaten four-game run should just about secure top-flight status again on 36 points with nine matches still to play.
"We believe more in ourselves now, sometimes we did not get the points we deserved, but we have changed our mentality, are doing well on the field and defending hard," Ruiz said.
"After this victory, we can now be looking at the top 10 places, which was what we were thinking about at the beginning of the season.
"We had a bad period, but now we are back in business, so will try to finish in the top 10."
Ruiz, signed from FC Twente in a £10.6million deal in August 2011, has managed just three goals this season and none since December 29.
The 27-year-old, however, intends to continues working hard.
"I am happy with what I am doing (for the team), but know I have to score more, however I am passing the ball well," he said.
"The goals will come, though, I am trying to do some finishing at the end of training to do that."
Despite a healthy cushion between themselves and the bottom three, Jol maintains there can be no relaxing just yet.
He said: "There as a lot of clubs around us with 33 points and Wigan have two games in hand, that is the thing which is always on your mind.
"I think you need 38, 39 points. We still have to play Chelsea and Arsenal at home and have a few difficult ones away from home."
"But we have got five wins, four draws and only three defeats this year, so that is good."
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