Kit Symons passed his latest audition to land the Fulham manager’s job – and left old friend Dougie Freedman clinging on to his.
Goals from Hugo Rodallega, Fernando Amorebieta, Lasse Vigen Christensen and Tim Hoogland secured a comprehensive victory over a Bolton side who have won just once in 10 outings to pile the pressure on boss Freedman.
Craven Cottage chairman Shahid Khan, stung by his disastrous appointment of Felix Magath, this week assembled a five-man panel to help him choose the club’s next manager.
But while the Fulham Five – ex-captains Danny Murphy and Brian McBride, former Sunderland striker, manager and chairman Niall Quinn, academy boss Huw Jennings and season-ticket holder David Daly – weigh up the options, the obvious candidate appears to be already in the dug-out.
Since taking over from Magath, former Cottagers defender Symons has guided previously winless Fulham to back-to-back league victories and off the foot of the Championship.
The outlook is bleak for Symons’ ex-Crystal Palace team-mate Freedman, though, as his side have now slipped below Fulham in the table and the fans are calling for him to be axed.
Fulham, clearly buzzing after breaking their win duck at Birmingham on Saturday, had the ball in the net inside three minutes but Ross McCormack was offside as he struck at the far post.
They did not have to wait long to grab the lead, however, with Rodallega taking advantage of a defensive slip from Matt Mills to find the net in the ninth minute.
McCormack was the provider, chipping hopefully into the penalty area from where Mills would have hooked the ball clear had his standing foot not given way, allowing Rodallega to slot past Andy Lonergan for his third goal of the season.
It was almost two moments later when winger Konstantinos Stafylidis’ 20-yard drive was tipped onto the post by Lonergan.
Bolton rallied briefly as the first half wore on but the closest they came to an equaliser was a volley from Darren Pratley which grazed the crossbar.
Instead Fulham doubled their advantage in first-half stoppage time when Bryan Ruiz crossed into the area and full-back Amorebieta powerfully headed home.
Bolton looked a beaten team as they came out after the break and so it proved as Fulham piled on the misery, Rodallega squaring for Danish youngster Christensen to tap in his first goal for the club in the 67th minute.
Hoogland got in on the act with 11 minutes remaining, taking a square pass from George Williams and burying it past Lonergan into the bottom corner, leaving both managers to ponder their futures for very different reasons.