Three straight league wins in a row. Four wins out of the last five league matches. The third-best goal differential in the league. These are the ingredients for a genuine playoff push, and with Fulham’s victory at Bristol on Wednesday night, the Whites took another step towards the battle for sixth place.
Fulham had travelled to Ashton Gate with mixed momentum. The Whites had won their previous two Championship matches in dramatic fashion, triumphing over Wigan and Nottingham Forest 3-2, yet had also been thrashed 3-0 by Tottenham Hotspur over the weekend in the FA Cup.
Much was made of the Spurs performance, but in all fairness the Cottagers were matched up against one of the best teams in the country in fine form. Little fight was evident in the Fulham side, but the loss was no great harbinger of an imminent collapse.
Nonetheless, Fulham needed to bounce back quickly in order to gain ground on their promotion contenders, and bounce back they did. The Whites easily dealt with lowly Bristol City, breezing to a comprehensive 2-0 away victory.
The Whites claimed the lead with 16 minutes gone at Ashton Gate, and never looked back. A patient passing move was finished with aplomb when Cairney slipped Piazon through on goal, and the on-loan Brazilian coolly swept home into the bottom corner.
Cairney switched from provider to finisher for the second goal, collecting an intelligent pass from Floyd Ayite before firing into the top corner to double Fulham’s advantage in the 54th minute. Fulham produced a complete performance, dominating possession, keeping a clean sheet, and grabbing a valuable three points to move into seventh place.
Fulham now sit on 52 points with 32 matches played, six points behind Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday. The Whites have a game in hand on both and can narrow that gap to three points with a win.
Next, Fulham travel to Cardiff on the weekend, followed by a home match against Preston. Then comes a massive match: Leeds at home on March 7th. If results go their way and Fulham continue their impressive run of form, they might just find themselves in the playoff positions come mid-March.