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Fulham boss Marco Silva not expecting an easy Newcastle

last updated Thursday 14th December 2023, 10:22 PM

Fulham Football Club

Fulham coach Marco Silva
Fulham coach
Marco Silva
Marco Silva
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Fulham manager Marco Silva does not believe that Newcastle United’s exit from European competition will work in his side’s favour on Saturday.

For a while on Wednesday night, the Magpies were advancing into the Champions League knockout stages, but an eventual 2-1 loss to AC Milan meant they did not even have a Europa League spot to fall back on.

But when asked if that makes this a good time to face Eddie Howe’s men, Silva replied: “No. Okay, last evening they lost an important game, but they have been showing in the Champions League how they are really tough to play against.

“This season at home they have been tough as well. They are a very good side, a top side.

“Last season they did brilliant, achieving a Champions League spot. They will want to react from last evening, from that disappointing result that takes them from the European competitions.

“But we really have to embrace the challenge, we are confident enough to go to play. Last season in the game we conceded a late goal, but we did really well.

“We had a penalty that almost had us leading the score in the final stage of the game. We were really competitive, we matched them, and we want to do the same.

“It’s going to be a tough one, but is it going to be easier because of their last result? I don't see it in this way. It's always tough to play against very good sides like Newcastle, at their place even more, but we really want to go there and to embrace the challenge.”

In response, the same journalist questioned whether their midweek malaise could in fact make it a trickier afternoon for Fulham – something that Silva considered more likely.

“It will probably be more hard, rather than easier, in my opinion,” he said, “because when you have this type of disappointing moment and you are a great team and you have the quality, you want to show a reaction.

“They are going to try to do it from the first minute, I'm 100 per cent sure. The fans want the same, there is going to be the connection that you can feel in that ground between players and fans. It’s not easy to create, and they did it – we have to congratulate them for that.

“It’s going to be tougher, not easier, after the disappointing evening they had last night, but we have to go in the direction that we are planning and preparing our players, and to match them and to challenge the game.

“Three points for us to fight for, we are very confident in ourselves as well. Of course, huge respect to Newcastle.

“It is always very good to play in that environment against a very good side, well managed as well, because it's one of the best places to play football in this country.

“At the same time, it’s really tough because of the crowd, the environment, everything. But if you are, like we are, a team that likes to embrace tough challenges, to go and to play, that is the right place to do it.”

Source Geoff Pruce at Fulham FC
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