Scott Parker insisted both Fulham and Aboubakar Kamara have put last season’s controversy behind them after the striker scored twice to sink QPR 2-1.
Kamara’s Craven Cottage career looked over in January after a series of bust-ups, one of which saw him arrested, banned from the club and then sent on loan to Turkish side Malatyaspor.
Yet Cottagers boss Parker has reintegrated Kamara into the squad and, with 12-goal top-scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic suspended, turned to the Frenchman to lead the line against Rangers.
Parker was rewarded with a goal in each half as Fulham came from behind to beat their west London rivals and climb up to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Parker said: “I’m really pleased for him. He has not been a problem since I stepped into the role.
“You have to manage him differently but he gives you everything and he topped off his performance with two really good finishes. The perception is very different to the reality.
“What happened last season with Abou is well documented but he has come back into the squad with the blessing of the players. They are fully on board.
“He has not been involved much this season, and he has his moments, but he is a grafter and he works hard and he deserved his goals.”
Rangers were ahead inside three minutes, when Todd Kane drilled a low centre across goal and Jordan Hugill, on a season-long loan from West Ham, arrived at the far post to steer the ball into the net.
But when Denis Odoi crossed from the right Kamara – making only his second start of the season – headed his first Fulham goal since netting the consolation in a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal on New Year’s Day.
Fulham’s tails were up and five minutes later Tom Cairney fed Ivan Cavaleiro, who got beyond Grant Hall but crashed his shot against the near post.
Their pressure told in the 65th minute when Rangers goalkeeper Joe Lumley’s poor clearance fell straight to the feet of Stefan Johansen.
The Norwegian midfielder played the ball through to Kamara, who took a touch before beating Lumley inside the far post.
QPR boss Mark Warburton said: “It’s very frustrating to be leaving with nothing.
“We know about the quality in the Fulham squad, but we had to be brave and you saw us being brave.
“We got the early goal, created chances, matched a high-quality team in possession and been very, very good – but we’ve lost 2-1.
“In that first period we could have been two or three up. Had we left with a point, I’d have been frustrated.”