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Fulham coach Marco Silva: It will be tough for both teams

last updated Thursday 16th February 2023, 6:29 PM

Fulham Football Club

Fulham coach Marco Silva
Fulham coach
Marco Silva
Marco Silva
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Fulham coach Marco Silva was told in his pre-match press conference that not many would have had Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion in the top-seven come February, but that both are there on merit.

“Definitely,” concurred our Head Coach. “We are really pleased with the way we have been playing so far, and where we are in the table as well.

“You cannot hide that situation, but more [pleasing is] the way we are playing and achieving results, and growing as a team as well.

“And of course we are going to face a team with high quality, in my opinion, not just because they are in a very good position.

“Even at the beginning of the season they did very well and were even higher in the table. I remember the first months they were in the top four.

“But the way they have been playing, the way they have been dominant as well. They are going to be a really tough team to play against, but at the same time I believe that they know that it will be tough to play against us as well.”

With Brighton building year on year, and both sides recruiting well this season, Silva was also asked if he sees similarities between Fulham and Saturday’s opponents.

“I don't like to compare,” he replied. “It's not fair and it’s not really our focus to compare with the other clubs.

“Okay, I have to agree with you that the last few seasons they have been doing really well, they are always in the Premier League. You can see that season after season they are improving their position in the table.

“They have that quality as well and I think it’s clear for everyone the way they recruit some young lads, even if some of the young lads they spent a very good amount of money on, but you can see the quality there, you can see an idea.

“Roberto [De Zerbi] joined them, before that they had the same manager during three, four seasons as well, which always helps to do something consistent in that situation.

“After with Roberto, they keep doing really well, probably even better, and they are playing really well. It’s difficult to compare, different situation as well because we came from the Championship.

“But about recruitment, of course it’s something that we have to do our best to do it well, because it's really important to make the people that are already here feel well and make them feel important.

“At the same time, you want to improve the squad and to do the recruitment really well. You know that sometimes it's difficult to be really spot on in all the players that are signed, but most of them you have to do it right to improve the squad and to create more competition inside, like we did last summer. And I believe like we did last month as well.”

Fans of the Seagulls may have been concerned when popular boss Graham Potter left for Chelsea, but the appointment of former Napoli midfielder De Zerbi has been inspired.

“I know Roberto well, or his job well, in Sassuolo, and of course a short period in Shakhtar as well,” Silva said.

“For me, it is not something new, it is something that he has done in Sassuolo really well. And of course, before the war started, in Shakhtar as well – some games in the Champions League, of course different football.

“Shakhtar, normally their target is to be champions, which is a different thing to Sassuolo, and now in Brighton as well, but it's clear the idea is there. He’s doing a very good job, definitely.

“Of course, when he came in they were in a very good position. I think Brighton, season after season, have been improving and are much more consistent, improving their results and position in the table as well.

“When he came they were in a very good position of fourth or fifth in the table. But I have to be fair, and honest really – he's doing a very good job.

“He's a very good manager, he's proving that. I think the players have switched really well to his style as well. They have been a tough team to play against and they have been achieving good results.

“They can be dominant on the ball, not just against several teams, I think against all the teams so far since Roberto came they have been really dominant on the ball. Most of the games, maybe not all the games, they have more possession than the opposition side.

“They have been dominant on the ball and they have the capacity to frustrate the other teams, to take the ball from them.

“It's something that we have to be aware of, because we are a team that like to have the ball as well, and you have to be aware in this situation, but I agree with you that he's doing a very good job and it will be tough.

“But at the same time, we have full confidence in ourselves, what we are capable of doing, and I'm sure that they know it will be tough for them as well.”

Source Geoff Pruce at Fulham FC
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