“It was a vast improvement in performance," said Mick McCarthy. “The players know that as well; they were certainly happy with their overall performance, as was I. If we perform like that against other teams we’ll win games, but I’m afraid that Fulham were too strong for us.
“I’ve got no qualms or criticism of the players in terms of effort and endeavour. We should be better with the ball at times, and that is disappointing. We got punished cruelly for the first goal, and for the second goal we gave the ball away, which was really poor.
"This leaves us on the back end of a really horrible run of results. And if football is true to its usual stuff, we know what happens. I can't do anything about that. We've certainly had a much better performance, and I'll be doing exactly the same for Middlesbrough unless I'm told different. I can't do any more than I am doing, I can't try any harder than I am doing."
"It was really important for Tom to come back with the goal, it was really important. And he deserves it after the last few months that have been so tough. It was important for him to get back. You can imagine how he was. It is easy to understand how he celebrated the goal, his feelings in that moment.
"He helped the team when we needed him. I felt the team needed a player with more calm, to move the ball differently and be creative. If he is not the happiest, he is one of the happiest players in our dressing room. We can take many positives from the game. We deserved the three points and the clean sheet is really important as well."