DEMBELE IS HERE TO STAY SAYS KIT
Fulham striker hits two at City
TEENAGE hot-shot Moussa Dembele is going nowhere according to Fulham boss Kit Symons.
After seeing the 19-year-old striker score twice in the first 18 minutes to help his side to a fourgoal half-time advantage, Symons insisted Craven Cottage is the right place for Dembele to develop his skills.
Big-name clubs from England and Europe are reportedly showing interest, but the Fulham manager is holding firm.
“Talks over a new contract are in process and I am very hopeful that Moussa will sign,” Symons said.
“He is a player we will work on to improve and we have the right people to advise him and make him an even better player. He is at the right club to develop.”
Of his team’s performance in overwhelming struggling Bristol, Symons added: “In the first half I thought we were excellent and took our goals really well.
“We could have put the game to bed in the second half with a couple of early chances, but in fairness Bristol City kept going on made it more difficult for us.
“It was difficult to be critical of the players when they scored four goals away from home. But I want us to be the best we can be and some of our decision-making after the interval was not so good.”
Fulham grabbed a secondminute lead when James Husband advanced down the right flank and crossed low for Dembele to shoot home from six yards.
It was the start of a first-half horror at the back for City, who repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with poor defending.
Aden Flint’s risky crossfield pass on 18 minutes was intercept ed by Ross McCormack. He fed Tom Cairney, who crossed from the right for Dembele to side foot his second at the far post.
McCormack made it 3-0 with a superbly struck free-kick from 30 yards following a foul, which earned Luke Freeman a caution.
Soon it was four as Ryan Tunnicliffe lobbed Frank Fielding when running onto a bouncing ball that split City’s back-line.
Ryan Fredericks almost made it five when his 38th-minute cross shot from the right came back off the crossbar.
City were shellshocked and might have conceded further goals straight after the interval.
But to their credit Steve Cotter- ill's side worked tirelessly to restore a modicum of pride, only to waste their own scoring chances.
The best fell to the dangerous Jonathan Kodjia who shot wide on 56 minutes and took too long to shoot when clear on goal ten minutes later.
It wasn’t until injury time that City pulled a goal back, with top scorer Kodjia converting a cross from substitute Simon Cox, shooting first time past Andy Lonergan from eight yards.
Cotterill said: “We made a couple of mistakes to give Fulham a leg-up in the game. For 30 minutes we were the better team and yet found ourselves 2-0 down. That summed up our season.
“We came up against opponents with that bit more quality than us and they took their chances.We have to create more opportunities than our rivals to score goals.
“We are in for training on Sunday and will dust ourselves down in time to face Wolves on Tuesday.
“If we had taken a couple of our chances early in the second half Fulham might have panicked, but it didn’t happen.
“We showed a lot of courage after the interval because it’s not easy at 4-0 down, but the bottom line is Fulham had more quality. It was painful watching the lads, knowing how hard they work.”
ALL SMILES: Fulham boss Kit Symons
HOT SHOT: Fulham’s Moussa Dembele in action with Marlon Pack