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Marco Silva praised Fulham’s ‘mentality, desire and work rate’ after watching the Whites match Premier League Southampton in their latest pre-season friendly.

The Championship side claimed a creditable draw thanks to Neeskens Kebano’s late spot-kick after falling behind to Shane Long’s close-range finish shortly before half time. Silva has been pleased with the work of his squad during pre-season and, whilst pleased with the showing against top flight opposition, preferred to focus on the performance of his own players during a post-match interview with FFCTV:

“It was one more game for us. We are working in the same way that we did for the other matches. The boys have shown mentality, desire, work rate – everything was there – and we are starting to see some things that have been working on in the games. It is a matter of process. We have to keep improving, there are many things to improve. Our players are working really hard.

The most important thing for us is what we can do with our players – respecting our opponents, of course – but, to be honest, our focus is on our players, what we are able to do and the things we must improve. It is part of football to analyse the opponents, but we answered their questions this afternoon and for a big part of the match we were able to compete with them in the way I want to compete. In general, again we did well.”

Silva is content with Fulham’s progress two weeks after taking over from Scott Parker at Motspur Park – but is targeting further improvements ahead of the final pre-season fixture against Charlton Athletic next weekend.

“We finished the second week today. With some games, we are seeing more and more of the things we are preparing day by day. Of course, next Monday I want to see more and more. We will prepare well for the final pre-season match against Charlton. There are doing all the things that I am asking of them and they are doing well.”

The Portuguese head coach is already looking forward to the prospect of taking charge of his new side at Craven Cottage.

“It is the most important thing about football – when we talk about fans. The last few months was a tough time for everybody, when you feel that you can back to the stadium is good. It will be my first match at Craven Cottage, a special moment, and to be play with fans will be fantastic for us. Because football without them is nothing – we will be stronger with them behind us.”

He also praised the quality of Fulham’s first two signings – goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga and winger Harry Wilson – whilst stressing the need to bring in more players before the end of the transfer window.

“When we add some players, we do our homework to sign them. It is always in our mind to improve our squad. We have quality, some positions we have to improve. I like competition, I want us to be stronger so the players have to fight for each position. We are talking about two players – Gazzaniga and Harry – who have real quality, they want to come to Fulham Football Club and this is really important for me, they want to be here, they want to join this project and they are two very good first signings for us and we must work to sign more players until the end of the month.”