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Marco Silva sympathises with ‘unlucky’ defender Steven Sessegnon but has warned the academy graduate that he needs to find consistent fitness in order to make an impression on the Fulham first team squad.

Sessegnon has been restricted to outings for the club’s under 23 side, most recently in midfield, after seeing his pre-season derailed by a combination of injuries and coronavirus. The England under-21 international’s loan spell with Bristol City last term didn’t go as planned as injuries limited him to just eighteen appearances at Ashton Gate.

Silva admitted that Sessegnon, whose last senior appearance for the club came as a last-minute substitute against Sheffield Wednesday in July 2020, faces significant competition from the other right backs at the club.

“He has competition – and not just one, two or three players. Unfortunately, even in this short time I’m here, he’s got some small injuries that are stopping him. He’s not a player who can keep stopping and even before me he got injuries and Covid as well.”

The 21 year-old has been absent from training this week after picking up another knock and will desperate for a injury-free run.

“These last two days, he didn’t work with the team again. He has to try and keep fit and work as hard as he can. He cannot be in and out every single week, because if he wants to match his team-mates in this position he has to work really hard. He’s been unlucky, and he has quality, but he needs to show this every single day.”