Meulensteen confident over Berbatov future
By Football News
Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen has insisted Dimitar Berbatov is committed to Fulham after the forward scored in a 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
Berbatov netted Fulham's second goal from the penalty spot at Craven Cottage, with Steve Sidwell having given the hosts the lead earlier in the first half.
The Bulgarian's strike came at the end of a week that has seen him linked with a move away from the club.
Yet Meulensteen has no doubt that the former Manchester United man is completely focused on the task of helping Fulham pull away from the relegation zone.
"I thought he (Berbatov) was excellent on Wednesday (in a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham), and today he showed again what he is capable of doing," said the Dutchman.
"I had a good chat with him. Berba is not a stranger to me; he's fully committed to Fulham and the games we have got ahead of us."
Fulham's victory ended a run of six straight Premier League defeats, and Meulensteen was quick to praise his side for an accomplished attacking display.
"I couldn't be more delighted and the most important thing is that the players should be delighted with themselves," he added.
"Today I think we were even better, more positive going forward and (with) the quality we produced in an attacking sense."
Villa manager Paul Lambert expressed his displeasure at referee Mike Dean's decision to award Fulham a penalty in the first half and then deny the visitors a spot-kick late in the second following Aaron Hughes' challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Meulensteen was sympathetic to Lambert's argument regarding the second penalty claim.
"If we would have had a similar incident as Aston Villa had we would have been disappointed if we wouldn't have got it," he explained.
"I do think, looking at it, that Aaron wanted to play the ball, and obviously it's Mike Dean's decision and he didn't give it."