Aina urges Fulham to kick on after West Brom win sets the standard

The full-back, who made his top-flight debut for Chelsea in 2016, scored his first Premier League goal, a thunderous left-footed strike into the top corner, to help the Cottagers on their way to a comfortable 2-0 win over Slaven Bilic’s West Brom.

It lifted Fulham off the foot of the table and out of the relegation zone.

This was their finest display since earning promotion, with debutant defender Joachim Andersen helping secure a first clean sheet of the season, too, and Aina says that, after the relief of getting their first win, such a performance must be the minimum expectation going forward.

“It was massive,” Aina told Standard Sport. “Everyone knows it has been a tough start to the season and to get the three points and the clean sheet, those things are very important.

“We dug in and really showed some resilience, it is an amazing feeling. It is a long season, the team and myself have to take every game as it comes.

“You have to work hard at that, keep training and putting in the effort. What we did last night, that needs to be the minimum. Hopefully, we can kick on from here and keep improving.”

Parker said it was a relief to finally have the pressure of a winless run end and praised his squad for their desire to improve, something Aina says is driven by the manager himself.

“He has been great, keeping the belief within the camp and he always tells us that he believes in each and everyone of us, believes in our ability and what we can achieve,” Aina said. 

“He has been very positive with us — where we lack, he lets us know, and where we do well, he lets us know. He is a very truthful guy and he has been great.”

The full-back, who signed on loan with an option to buy from Torino the day before the season started, has had to wait to establish himself in the Premier League, but is now living out his dream at Craven Cottage.

“It is always special getting your first Premier League goal,” he said. “It has been a long time since I made my League debut. 

“I am just glad that the goal came and I was able to help the team with it.

“It is a dream to play in the Premier League and score, and get games in the Premier League. When I left Chelsea, it was kick-starting a career for myself. 

“I always wanted to come back and play in the Premier League. I am just happy that I am making it a reality.”

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