Tottenham keeper Brad Friedel delighted with ugly win over Fulham


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The Independent Football

Brad Friedel insists Tottenham's 3-1 victory over Fulham proves they have the steel to win ugly when required.

Just a week after overwhelming QPR with some dazzling attacking football, they were forced to dig deep against another London rival.

The scoreline may have been the same, but the display at Craven Cottage that kept them on the fringe of the top four of the Barclays Premier League was vastly different.

Fulham were left frustrated as they chased an equaliser during a second-half onslaught withstood by Spurs' defence, led by the brilliant Friedel.

"Sometimes you have to go away from home and roll up your sleeves," said the American.

"It's not always going to be pretty and people saw that with Man City on Saturday when they had to dig deep to beat QPR 3-2.

"Everybody knows how good we can be going forward but against Fulham we needed to prove that we could defend against balls coming into the box and against some very good players.

"Since I came to Tottenham in July I've seen a group of players who are definitely capable of playing both sides of the game, the beautiful and ugly parts.

"Although the scoreline maybe flattered us a little bit, we showed a lot of defensive qualities and it was definitely not down to one person.

"There were a lot of people throwing their bodies in front of things and getting booted in the face for the cause, so it was a really pleasing defensive performance."

Spurs assistant coach Joe Jordan, standing in for manager Harry Redknapp who is recovering from a heart procedure, believes the performance was evidence of the growing resilience within the squad.

When Redknapp arrived at White Hart Lane in 2008, Spurs were positioned at the foot of the Premier League table and Jordan insists their form on the road has underpinned their success since.

"We were losing games away, games that we were winning at home. That's why it took us a long time to get away from the bottom," said Jordan.

"But you can see the improvement and progress that has been made in recent years. That was shown against Fulham.

"We've played some excellent football and that's why we've had such a good run recently (now seven wins in eight Premier League games).

"But against Fulham it wasn't excellent football and we didn't play particularly well in the second half, but had to dig in.

"You're not going to get anywhere in the game unless you show that. That attitude, plus a bit of good fortune, got us the points."

Fulham defender Brede Hangeland joked that Friedel, who at the age of 40 is in superb form, could continue playing until he is 50.

"Brad did really well. He was man of the match and he proved he can play maybe until he is 50. It looked like that against us anyway," he said.

Fulham sit just one point above the relegation zone, but Hangeland believes they will start climbing the table soon.

"We have been producing a lot of good performances without getting the points," said the Norwegian.

"I've always thought if you put in a lot of good performances over a season you get what you deserve.

"If we keep going like this hopefully our luck will turn and maybe we'll even get some lucky wins in the second half of the season."