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Marco Silva has sought to downplay the significance of Scott Parker’s return to Craven Cottage as Fulham prepare to take on Bournemouth in a clash of the Championship’s top two tomorrow night.

The Fulham head coach told his pre-match press conference this afternoon that he was approaching the Cherries in exactly the same way as he has with every other opponent.

“For us it’s another game. They are three points. I don’t see this game differently to West Bromwich Albion, or Stoke when we played them as we were both in the play-off positions in the table. It’s a game against a tough side that is there at the top with us, a team with a lot of quality, individual players with high technical quality. Good organisation as well.

The biggest game of the season? Definitely not. We don’t look to the game in this way. Is it a game that we want to win? Definitely yes. It’s a game where we are fully motivated, like we were in all the others before. Nobody can win seven games in a row if you’re not fully motivated, nobody can be nine games unbeaten if you’re not fully motivated.

What I want from the players, and from everyone in this football club, is to look to the game like we have all this week. It will be a tough game for us because of the quality of Bournemouth, but there’s nothing more about it. Tomorrow I want to see all of us, all my players, all the staff, approach it the same way we have all season. Nothing more. It’s Fulham against Bournemouth, not the names in the middle.”

Silva knows his side will face a stern test of their promotion credentials, with Bournemouth only a point behind them following an impressive start to the season.

I think both teams are doing fantastic this season. We are really happy with the season we’re having so far. Of course, I always want more, and my players want more as well. We are demanding more from ourselves as we always want to improve. Tomorrow we have another game, a tough game. I expect an open game with both teams playing to win the football match. This is the main thing for us.”