Fulham manager Marco Silva has said his side ‘haven’t won anything yet’ after a fast start to the Championship season in an interview with Sky Sports, with the Portuguese boss seeking to temper expectations.
Although their loss at Bloomfield Road against Blackpool at the weekend was a blow, they remained in second place behind West Bromwich Albion before Tuesday night’s fixtures after winning four, drawing one and losing one of their opening six second-tier games.
Not only have their existing players from last season and their ability to retain the core of their squad raised expectations at Craven Cottage, but also their five new signings who all come in with the quality to guide the west London side back to the Premier League.
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The £12m addition of Harry Wilson is a particularly eye-catching addition and after recording 19 goal contributions in 37 league appearances for Cardiff City last term, he will be hoping to replicate this form in the Cottagers’ quest to return to the Premier League
He linked up effectively with Welsh international Kieffer Moore for the Bluebirds and with Fulham having their very own star striker in Aleksandar Mitrovic, who scored 26 times in the Championship during the 2019/20 campaign, manager Marco Silva will be hoping this combination can pay dividends.
But in an interview with Sky Sports, he struck a cautious tone on the talk of promotion and said: “It’s such a tough competition and a tough league to play in.
“The games come quickly, and you don’t always get time to prepare.
“There are good teams and good managers. There are times where the game looks in control, then it can change in a second. We need to be able to deal with that.
“We are in the Championship, and we have to respect the competition and our opponents. We won’t hide what our targets are and we have to be ambitious, but we are not playing in this league alone.
“We have our standards and our aims to be successful, but we haven’t won anything yet. If we were in sixth or seventh position, my answer would be the same. I can’t talk about the past or the future. I’m here to talk about building right now.”
Considering the Cottagers are only six games into a 46-match season, this is a sensible stance for Marco Silva to take.
Any over-confidence or complacency from Fulham players or the manager when speaking to the media will be put on dressing room walls across the Championship as a source of motivation – and even with their solid summer of recruitment to add to what was already a high-quality squad – there are quite a few teams who could give them a run for their money this term.
AFC Bournemouth will always be a threat after falling just short of promotion, we’ve already seen what West Bromwich Albion are capable of, Stoke City also look like a completely different side this season and you could never rule out Sheffield United under Slavisa Jokanovic despite their slow start to the campaign.
With this, any talk of the P-word around Craven Cottage has probably been banned by Silva, who knows that any team can beat another in the Championship. Their clash against Blackpool at the weekend was a case in point – and will be a reminder that 2021/22 won’t be a walk in the park.
So whilst they will be hoping to work out a formula to keep them afloat in the Premier League in the future after becoming something of a yo-yo team in recent years, their focus has to be on the short-term to get there first.