New Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen believes experience is the best policy to bring his side away from the relegation battle and gave special praise to his eldest trio.

Scott Parker, Steve Sidwell and Giorgos Karagounis have a combined age of 99 but this didn't stop Meulensteen starting the three in midfield for a 2-0 win against Aston Villa on Sunday.

They all gave standout performances, along with Dimitar Berbatov, as captain Parker won the man-of-the-match award and Sidwell got on the scoresheet.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, the former Manchester United coach said: "What you get in exchange for age is experience. These players are well-trained: it's our job in the staff to make sure they have the energy to play at this level.

"And it's important that you use them in the right jobs that are tight for the team and that's what I've done."

Sidwell opened the scoring at Craven Cottage by outmuscling Leandro Bacuna and slotting past Brad Guzan.

Shortly afterwards Berbatov made it 2-0 from the penalty spot with a cool and calm stroke into the bottom left-hand corner which typified the Bulgarian.

But the Fulham boss gave most credit to Karagounis: "On top of that performance, he's a fantastic character, he's an inspiring person and that transfers onto other players and to the fans."

Fulham joined West Ham and Crystal Palace on 13 points from 15 matches but remain in the bottom three on goal difference.

However, yesterday's win put an end to a six game losing streak which saw Martin Jol lose his job at Craven Cottage.

Meulensteen, managing his second Fulham game, looked to increase the positive thinking for the fans.

"The win is a massive boost," Meulensteen explained. "It was a massive feel-good factor, although we lost against Tottenham last Wednesday. It was vital to maintain that feel good factor then back it up with three points too.

"It was important for the fans to see that we really are back on track now too, and that is equally important for the players to realise too."

Fulham travel to Goodison Park next Saturday to face a strong Everton side which have just taken four points from Old Trafford and the Emirates.

The new boss might be thinking positive but they are going to need a lot more than thoughts to get a result at Everton.

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#Scott Parker
#Aston Villa
#Steve Sidwell
#Dimitar Berbatov
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