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Fulham’s survival could be in the hands of Bobby Decordova-Reid, says manager

Fulham v Aston Villa – Premier League – Craven Cottage
(Image credit: Will Oliver)

Scott Parker believes Bobby Decordova-Reid can help fire Fulham to Premier League safety.

Decordova-Reid and fellow substitute Neeskens Kebano were on target in extra time as Fulham edged past west London neighbours QPR 2-0 in the FA Cup.

Staying in the top flight remains Parker’s priority and the Cottagers boss has backed Decordova-Reid to play a major role.

“He’s going to be very important,” said Parker. “He has a knack for being in the right areas, an eye for a goal and it’s going to be important for where we are at the moment.”

Parker made seven changes to his side for the third round tie, their first outing since Boxing Day due to a coronavirus outbreak.

Championship Rangers matches their rivals over the 90 minutes and squandered excellent chances to win it, not least when Lyndon Dykes fired over when clean through.

Parker added: “We had to move things around a little bit in terms of the squad because that’s the position we’re in.

“I’m pleased overall because momentum sticks with us, it’s a win. We are unbeaten in five, with a clean sheet as well and overall there are a lot of positives.”

Parker handed a start to Aleksander Mitrovic despite the Serbian being disciplined for a breach of Covid-19 restrictions on New Year’s Eve.

Parker said: “We’ve dealt with the matter internally, Aleks knows my position, we turn the page now and move on.

“He’s been punished, he has to face the consequences but now we move on and he moves on, keeps improving and showing his quality.”

For Rangers, a Championship relegation battle beckons if they continue to pass up opportunities in front of goal.

Manager Mark Warburton said: “The question before the game was ‘we are playing a strong Premier League team, where are we in comparison?’

“After 90 minutes we were very close. I thought we went toe to toe, I thought it was an entertaining 0-0 draw for the neutral.

“But the same old story for me (is) that we’ve created four or five gilt-edged chances and we have to take them – simple as that.

“The FA Cup is a fantastic tournament, we wanted to win, but the first goal was going to be important.

“At the end of the day it’s about the scoreline. It doesn’t say 2-0 but they played well. It says 2-0.”