Fulham summer signing Rodrigo Muniz has picked out manager Marco Silva and striker Aleksandar Mitrovic as two key figures for praise in enhancing his performance levels at Craven Cottage, speaking to the club’s media team.
The Brazilian forward, who arrived from Flamengo in the summer, has found himself on the bench for the majority of his time in West London thus far with Serbian international Mitrovic in scintillating form.
With the latter scoring at a rate of over a goal per game this term, he is on course to break records and will continue to be one of the first names on the teamsheet if he can retain his current goalscoring form.
Quiz: 30 questions about some of Fulham’s best ever players – Can you score 100% correct?
This has been to the detriment of 20-year-old Muniz, who hasn’t had a sufficient chance to impress yet and has only started once for Marco Silva’s men in their Carabao Cup penalty shootout loss to Leeds United back in September.
However, his late brace against Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night will give him great confidence for the rest of the campaign – and help to provide reassurance to Cottagers fans who are dreading the possibility of seeing Mitrovic out of action with an injury or suspension – a real possibility in a gruelling 46-game season.
The Serbian might be keeping the 20-year-old out of the team at the moment, but the latter has outlined the ways his competitor has helped him whilst settling into life in the English capital, also giving a special mention to manager Silva as he spoke to the media.
Muniz said: “In training I’m always learning from Mitro, who’s having such a great season so far.
“I’ve been able to pick things up from Mitro.
“It’s a learning curve, but when my chance comes I’ll look forward to taking it, like I did against Blackburn.
“Obviously because Mitro is playing so well, whenever I have the chance to come on I have to keep up the same rhythm as him, if not better than him.
“That’s what I’m looking to do, but working with Mitro does bring out the best in me.
“The Gaffer has given me a lot of confidence, too. He gave me a chance on Wednesday (against Blackburn) and I was able to take it.”
Sometimes you can’t have it all your own way – and this is exactly what Muniz is experiencing right now. He might not be heavily involved in Championship matches yet, but he will have enhanced his performance levels and become a better player after training with someone who possesses such quality.
Mitrovic has shown what it takes to get past Championship defences and although it may take a little bit of time for the Brazilian to climb up to his level, he has plenty of room for improvement as a 20-year-old and will only get better as time goes on.
Both of his goals at Ewood Park in midweek may not have been the most spectacular and may have come against ten men, but he managed to get himself in the right position both times and did extremely well to get the better of Blackburn’s defender to prod the ball home for his first.
It almost seems a long time ago now that the Cottagers weren’t so prolific in front of goal against the likes of Reading and Leeds United, but when those moments come, they can now rely on the Brazilian to make an impact.
Well done to Fulham boss Silva for making this a possibility – because confidence is exactly what he needed to thrive and he was full of it in midweek.