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Sunday, 9 February, 2003, 12:56 GMT
Tigana tight-lipped on future
Jon Harley celebrates his goal with the Fulham players
Fulham's players celebrate Harley's strike
Jean Tigana's future as Fulham manager is still unclear despite his side's 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Jon Harley was the Cottagers' hero with a rasping 25-yard shot in only his second league appearance of the season.

Tigana failed to attend the post-match news conference, but his assistant Christian Damiano has urged the Frenchman to respond to fans' fears he will quit.

"Jean must give the answer to that question," Damiano said.

"My situation is that I work with him and can't answer that question because I'm his assistant.

Our season would have been on the threshold of turning around if we had got the three points

Villa boss Graham Taylor

Tigana's three-year deal at the club expires in just three months' time and it is unclear whether he will extend his stay.

But despite the uncertainty surrounding Tigana, Harley has taken his opportunities well after being handed his chance two weeks ago.

The left-back has surprisingly been overlooked by Tigana since his 3.5m arrival from Chelsea 18 months ago.

But Rufus Brevett's sale to West Ham has finally handed him the chance of first-team football and his 35th-minute strike earned him praise from Damiano.

"Jon has a good attitude and has taken his chance," said Damiano.

"This is his opportunity and he had a very good game and scored an exceptional goal.

"It was a great result and an important win because we're in a better league position now.

"We were fantastic and confirmed we have very good quality on the pitch."

Jon Harley scored a magnificent goal
Harley has made an impression since his recall

Gareth Barry had slotted home the opening goal in the second minute and Steed Malbranque levelled from the spot 11 minutes later, with his sixth goal in four games before Harley's superb goal.

Villa boss Graham Taylor acclaimed Harley's strike and Boa Morte's performance.

"Harley just hit it and it had a wicked dip," he said. "They're special goals.

"And we all know that, when Boa Morte has a game like he did, he's difficult to contain.

"He's an instinct player and if you try and tackle him, he reacts and beats you.

"We made a very good start but I've no complaints about the result. Peter Enckelman brought off some saves in the second half that kept us in the game.

"Fulham deserved to win and that's disappointing. Our season would have been on the threshold of turning around if we had got the three points."


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BBC Five Live's Simon Mann
"Fulham have too much quality to be strugglers"
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