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Rene thrilled with first win

New Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen was thrilled with his first win in charge of the club after seeing his side defeat Aston Villa 2-0 at Craven Cottage.

Last Updated: 09/12/13 at 07:35 Post Comment

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First half goals from Steve Sidwell and Dimitar Berbatov's penalty proved to be enough to give Fulham all three points as they bounced back from the midweek defeat to Tottenham.

Meulensteen was delighted with his side's performance and admits he has enjoyed his first week in charge as a Premier League manager after working so long as a coach at Manchester United.

"I think we set ourselves a marker last Wednesday and we wanted to build from that - that's why there weren't a lot of changes and the players lived up to that expectation and deserved the three points," Meulensteen told Sky Sports.

"The way you start every game is key, I think it is very hard if you don't really start sharp it is very hard to get back into the game."

Meulensteen also praised goalscorers Sidwell and Berbatov for their starring performances in the game.

"I think it typifies really and sums up both performances," he added. "It is always hard when teams go through tough patches, you have to dig deep which they did and the goal he (Sidwell) scored was just sheer determination and a fantastic finish."

On Berbatov's display he said: "It is not a surprise to me, that is what he [Berbatov] can do. When you have got players of the calibre of Dimitar it is most important that other players react to him and that is what Alex [Kacaniklic] did really, really well."

Villa boss Paul Lambert was unhappy with Fulham's penalty and felt his own side were denied a penalty in the second half when Gabriel Agbonlahor appeared to be caught by Aaron Hughes, only for referee Mike Dean to wave away their appeals.

Meulensteen admitted both decisions could have gone either way after Fulham won a penalty when Kacaniklic collided with Leandro Bacuna.

"I think both penalty incidents to be fair if they are given which Mike Dean did for us you take it and if it is not given you will be disappointed and I am sure Paul [Lambert] will be disappointed with his penalty decision," said Meulensteen.

Berbatov nonchalantly scored Fulham's penalty and Meulensteen insists he had no concerns that the Bulgarian would score despite his casual walk-up to the spot-kick.

"I was quite confident he would put it away," added Meulensteen.

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