Marco Silva says Stoke City will pose a serious challenge for his Fulham side on Saturday.

The Portuguese head coach has tipped the Potters to be in the mix for promotion at the end of the season and feels Michael O’Neill’s men have improved since the meeting at Craven Cottage in August. He told FFCTV:

“I think it will be a very good challenge. As normal, they want to beat us, they want to stop our run, they want to get three points. We definitely respect them. We respect their quality, the way they play: a good way to play, they have a good idea in my opinion with good football players. The intensity they will put into the game will be higher.

“They have quality to play, they have quality to play from the back. Now a little bit different with more mobile players in the attack line as they well, they can create problems with runners in behind. When they play with the wing backs really high as well, they can create problems to the opposition side. They have good players in the midfield. They are a very good side who will create problems for us. I think it will be a good football match.”

Silva admitted there were elements of Fulham’s performance that disappointed him on Tuesday night despite the league leaders recording another 6-2 victory against Birmingham City.

“In terms of performance, our performance against Bristol [City] was different and it was better. Apart from the two moments where they scored from counter attacks, I think we controlled the game better than against Birmingham and our offensive game had more quality. I said to the players that, even not performing at our best level, it shows fantastic capacity to create chances and score nice goals as well. The room to improve is big. My players know it. In the second half, we should control the game better with the ball. We can rest in some moments with the ball, but we can’t lose the ball so easily. These are the things we have to keep improving. That certainly wasn’t our best performance.”