Fulham booked their spot in the Championship playoff final with a 2-0 win over Derby County in the second leg of their semi-final on Monday night.
Derby took a 1-0 lead into the second leg of their last-four tie, but goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Denis Odoi at Craven Cottage saw the capital outfit record a 2-1 aggregate success.
Sessegnon’s goal and indeed performance took a lot of the attention once again, but there is no question that Tom Cairney’s display in the middle of the park was a key contributor in the Cottagers advancing to the final.
Cairney has been strongly linked with a move away from Fulham, with Newcastle United and Leicester City among the Premier League clubs believed to be interested.
Both would have been watching the 27-year-old closely on Monday night, and it proved to be another fine performance from the midfielder.
Cairney, who is valued at £13.5m by transfermarkt.co.uk, managed two shots and three dribbles during his time on the field, but it was his use of the ball that made the biggest impression on the night.
Indeed, a pass success rate of 93%, coupled with 87 accurate passes and 108 touches are very impressive numbers for a central midfielder in a match of such magnitude.
Derby did not make it easy for Cairney to find space, but the former Leeds United youngster was so calm in possession, and a lot of Fulham’s good work went through the midfielder.
Fulham will now be bidding to win the Championship playoff final, and they will surely need to secure Premier League promotion this season to stand any chance of keeping one of the most talented players outside of the top flight.