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Fulham manager Marco Silva is relishing his first league game

last updated Saturday 07th August 2021, 10:32 AM

Fulham Football Club

Fulham manager Marco Silva
Fulham manager
Marco Silva
Marco Silva
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Geoff Pruce Fulham manager Marco Silva is relishing his first taste of Championship football, starting when Fulham host Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Our Head Coach has plenty of experience in the English game, but he’s previously only ever managed in the Premier League.

“It will be a big challenge, I don’t have any doubts about that,” he admitted in his pre-match press conference. “Of course I spoke with some people who know the competition.

“I haven’t participated yet, I will start on Sunday, but with so many years working in England, I have followed and been aware of the Championship.

“It’s really tough, a long journey for us. So many games, short space between games to prepare for the next one.

“The only way I can see of preparing for this competition is to think about one game at the right moment, when it’s finished then you analyse and start to prepare for the next one, because the time is really short between one and the other.

“You have to analyse as quick as you can, feedback to the players, but in the meantime start to prepare for the next one. Long, long journey, tough, tough competition.

“Everyone is looking forward to the game. But for all of us, it’s not the first time. We are all experienced enough to deal with the situation, and we will be ready to start the competition against a good side.

“I hope we can play with the quality that we’ve been working on so far.”

The weekend will see the biggest following at Craven Cottage since a 2-0 win over Preston North End 18 months ago.

Asked if he’s looking forward to having a proper crowd in attendance, Silva replied: “Definitely, I’m really looking forward to that. It will be a good feeling for sure.

“I expect a very good atmosphere in our stadium for the first game. Everyone is expecting a good game from ourselves, and from our opponent of course.

“It’s a tough game for us but, as I said, it’s the beginning of a long journey for us. With the fans behind us, we’ll be stronger for sure. Craven Cottage behind us, making everything difficult for the opponent, will be the best way to deal with this competition.

“We have to feel good playing at home, we have to feel at home, we have to feel comfortable with the situation, even though all the games will be really tough.

“The opponents will come here to make life really difficult for us but we have to be able to answer in the right way.

“With the right atmosphere at Craven Cottage, everything will be more difficult for our opponents.

“As a technical staff, and myself, we are looking forward to that.

“We have to give good feelings to the fans during the matchday and make them feel proud of our team.

“I’m not saying that we will win all the matches that we’ll play, but we have to do everything to win.

“Our commitment, our desire to win has to be 100 per cent there. Of course, anything can happen in a football match, but our desire and commitment has to be there always.”

Neil Warnock is in the Boro dugout these days, a familiar face to Fulham supporters from our battles with Cardiff City in recent years.

“I’ve come up against him in some games,” Silva said. “Everyone knows his history in this competition, and in the Premier League as well.

“He has his way he likes his teams to play. It’s not for us to try to guess his line-up because the first game is always difficult, but the idea and what they try to do I think is clear to everyone.

“The way they play, the way they try to do things, they are strong. In that style they are really tough to beat and it’s up to us, in our way, to do what we want to do in the game, to show our quality, and the same commitment and desire as them.”

The Whites’ squad is full of players who have won promotion from the Championship before at least once.

A number of those did not feature as often as they would have liked in the Premier League, but Silva has had no problems in terms of attitude.

“I don’t want to talk too much about last season,” he explained. “I was not here and I have to be fair to the people who were here working last season. It was their decision at that moment.

“It’s a new season now, new challenge and what I can tell you is that since the first day everyone has had the right mentality, right mindset to work.

“Everyone is aware of what the Championship means for us as a club, and what our aims are in the competition.

“I saw players with the right mentality to work, to learn as fast as they can, what it means to be in this competition, and to take our ideas on board as fast as they can.”

Source Geoff Pruce at Fulham FC
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