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In previewing last night’s trip to south east London, I suggest we’d have a greater idea about the Championship credentials of Marco Silva’s side once we had seen Fulham face the unique challenge of Millwall away. It took only eight minutes at the New Den for this new-look outfit to disdainfully dispense with the notion that the five-star display at Huddersfield was a flash in the pan.

Of course, the nimble and intelligent Fabio Carvalho was to the fore. The news this morning that Fulham are confident of tying their teenage playmaker to a longer contract was almost as thrilling as his peerless performance last night. There was an electric burst down the left to set up Aleksandar Mitrovic’s second goal in as many games and firm finish five minutes later to match his magnificent run and put clear water between the sides. Suddenly, the Den didn’t feel quite so fearsome. His nod to Ryan Sessegnon’s iconic ear-cupping celebration reminded us all of the exuberance of youth.

Some of Fulham’s approach play was utterly mesmerising. One-touch football played with verve, zest and at a high tempo appears to be the order of the day under the new head coach. The contrast with Silva’s predecessor couldn’t be starker. Where Scott Parker deployed a handbrake to stay in matches, the new man revs his team up to full throttle to finish them. The fluidity, movement and sense of adventure makes this iteration of Fulham look formidable – rather like the Tigana and Jokanovic sides of yesteryear.

You can tell the transformation by considering the cases of some of the squad’s forgotten men. Neeskens Kebano was exiled to Middlesbrough last season and wasn’t expected to feature prominently in this campaign after Fulham added Harry Wilson this summer. But the Congolese winger appears reborn under Silva, having forced his way into the new head coach’s thoughts following a strong pre-season. Kebano buzzed brightly down the left flank against Millwall, drifting infield and finding Carvalho expertly for the second goal, and was unfortunate not to add one of his own. He’ll be difficult to displace on this evidence.

Then there’s the re-emergence of Jean Michael Seri, a man most Fulham fans had consigned to the scrapheap long before the summer. He followed up a fine – if understated – display at Huddersfield with another exemplary exhibition of how to play the ‘number six’ role last night. There was an effortlessness about the way he created passing angles to keep possession and he took the ball on the half turn brilliantly, rendering Millwall’s attempts at pressing moot. Seri wasn’t shy of sticking a foot in himself and looked genuinely delighted when applauding the away fans afterwards. Perhaps a fabulous final act to his Fulham career isn’t as far fetched as we thought.

There’s definitely a different vibe about this Fulham side. Their first instinct appears to play the ball forward and look to hurt the opposition. The way Josh Onomah, another player who has seized his opportunity to stake a claim with injuries opening up spots in central midfield, surged towards the penalty area despite being repeatedly fouled illustrated that Fulham were now playing on the front foot. No longer is it possession for possession’s sake – and the Whites looked liable to score in every attack during a flawless first half. That Silva, Mitrovic and Carvalho have all rued a lack of ruthlessness in the immediate aftermath of victory demonstrates a hunger to make best use of their attacking resources – and bodes well for what will still be a long and arduous Championship campaign.

You can see that the confidence is already flowing. Tim Ream’s ridiculous Cryuff turn away from Benik Afobe was testament to that. But Silva quickly made clear that there is still plenty of hard work ahead. It was criminal that Fulham’s eighty minutes of dominance were followed by a nerve-shredding finale after Afobe inadvertently offered Millwall a lifeline. Paulo Gazzaniga’s rather crazed goalkeeping in stoppage time might have undone all the first half invention in the blink of an eye. It may serve as a timely remainder that nothing is won in August.

The tantalising takeaway is that this remains far from a full strength Fulham side. Harrison Reed continues to creep closer to fitness following his ankle injury – and there’s little doubt that the Whites are a far better side with him screening the back four. Wilson’s couple of cameos suggest he could be devastating in this division again, should he curb the indiscipline that cut short another impressive display at Huddersfield. Bobby Decordova-Reid was cruelly sidelined last night so soon after his hat trick of assists at Huddersfield. Should Tom Cairney, whose class at this level simply can’t be questioned, overcome his persistent knee troubles then Silva would have plenty of selection posers to ponder over.

One thing’s for certain – it will be very exciting at Craven Cottage this season. Silva is determined to prove his point in English football and he has started in some style.