Meulensteen: Berba Showed Commitment
Rene Meulensteen has showered with praise his Bulgarian star forward Dimitar Berbatov, saying he showed his commitment to the Fulham cause with a sparkling performance in Sunday's 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
Fulham gave Rene Meulensteen his first win as their manager with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at Craven Cottage.
Steve Sidwell put the hosts in front in the 21st minute when he scored against his old side after lofting the ball over the advancing Brad Guzan.
Fulham, who previously had not scored two goals at home all season, then doubled the lead through a controversial penalty nine minutes later.
Alex Kacaniklic broke clear and charged into the box where he appeared to make the initial contact with Villa's Leandro Bacuna.
But referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty and Dimitar Berbatov, after selling Guzan a dummy, rolled the ball into the bottom corner.
Berbatov's agent last week confirmed his client is "not happy" at Craven Cottage and will seek a move in the January transfer window.
Meulensteen hailed Berbatov's focus in leading the line despite being unsettled, although the former Manchester United coach refused to discuss the player's future.
Meulensteen said: "I think the word is focus, anyone who has a good focus will know what the job is in hand, and you focus on the performance.
"He makes a difference. I thought he was excellent [in the 2-1 loss to Tottenham] on Wednesday as well, and today again you saw what he was capable of doing.
"I just had a good chat with him, he's not a stranger to me, we know what games we have coming up all the way to January, and he's fully committed to Fulham and the games we've got ahead of us.
"I'm just focusing on the games up until January.
"I couldn't be more delighted with his performance, it shows that he cares.
"The most important thing is that the players should be delighted with themselves."
Asked about Berbatov's likely prospects once the January transfer window opens, Meulensteen said:
"I can't, couldn't, wouldn't and don't want to answer that, it's my decision to do that with the people who are relevant to discuss these things."