This was a necessary and satisfactory win though not an inspiring one.
Necessary as Scott Parker’s Bournemouth were beginning to pull away at the top of the Championship after their victory at Stoke.
With WBA and Coventry losing Fulham go clear second.
The game will be remembered for the return of Tom Cairney who had been out for a year with a knee injury.
It’s difficult for a fan to realise the effect of his long term injury. Okay, he is very well paid but he has to do gym work on his own, away from the team, and at 30 must be worrying if he will ever play again.
In May 2018 he captained Fulham at the play-off final against Aston Villa and scored the winner. Playing for Villa that day was Jack Grealish and for Norwich James Maddison. Both gained England caps and big moves to Manchester City and Leicester City respectively.
Tom hardly played in the Premiership. He has a sweet left foot and has scored many a crucial goal with it.
Last night the ball was knocked down in his path and the left foot at the Hammersmith End struck again.
Cardiff, who had not been playing at all badly until then, conceded a second when they lost carelessly possession and the ball was swept across to Alex Mitrovic in the form of his life.
He struck home and Fulham held onto to a 2-0 win.
Accommodating Cairney now will not be that easy as it will be at the expense of either Neeskens Kebano or Bobby DeCordova-Reed, both of whom are playing well.
Then there is Fabio Carvalho, who plays in Cairney’s position, waiting in the wings. Still it’s a problem a manager/head coach likes as injuries and suspensions kick in.