However frustrated we might have been by yesterday’s draw with Bournemouth, Fulham kept fighting until the end. Marco Silva insisted he wouldn’t compromise on his footballing philosophy in the Premier League after guiding the Whites to the Championship title in such style – and he was true to his word. If that means selecting a winger at right back, slotting a natural number ten into central midfield at 2-1 down and chucking on another striker to look for a winner with minutes to go, so be it. The changes worked as Fulham came from behind twice and created enough chances to claim all three points – and you can’t quibble with twelve points from the first ten fixtures: comfortably the Cottagers’ best start to a top flight campaign under the Khan regime.

It is increasingly clear that Silva doesn’t yet know his best eleven. Some of that is down to the fact that a number of the club’s most consistent Championship performers have stepped up impressively at a higher level and, whilst the failure to complete recruitment in time to give key arrivals a full pre-season to bed in at their new club combined with a batch of injuries, means that an innovative coach has had to take a few gambles. You’d think Fulham’s best long-term central defensive partnership is probably Tosin Adarabioyo and Issa Diop, but Tim Ream’s outstanding form in the early weeks of this campaign has made our £15m signing wait his turn.

For much of the first half yesterday, Fulham’s defending was reminiscent of that miserable afternoon in the rain at Coventry last season – also the last time that Tosin was dropped. We should give Gary O’Neill credit for causing maximum carnage in the final third by pairing the impressive Dominic Solanke with Philip Billing, not a natural striker, but someone who operated in the areas that give centre backs nightmares about whether to mark or not. The Cherries exploited Decordova-Reid’s lack of defensive positioning as well as well Ream’s lack of pace to make the dream start, but both looked much more assured by the end of the ninety minutes with our veteran American making a couple of superb sliding tackles when the visitors looked likely to score a third. Bernd Leno had a busy afternoon: no more so when his vital double save from Solanke and Jefferson Lerna to kept the hosts in the contest.

I’ve seen some criticism of Diop’s display but I think most of these are misplaced. The Frenchman is clearly still lacking match fitness having been frozen out by David Moyes in east London, but he adds height, physicality and power to a backline that can look fragile at times. He demonstrated his value in both penalty boxes with a header that briefly brought the Whites level for the first time and Diop also fits Silva’s template for a ball-playing centre back. He didn’t misplace a single pass all afternoon and again displayed an aptitude for bringing the ball out of defence. He will only get better with more game time – and it is up to Silva to decide on his best centre defensive pairing.

Decordova-Reid is also due some love as he really not at right back, but I fancy Bobby would put the goalkeeping gloves and stand between the sticks if you asked him to. He gave it a real go yesterday and finished the contest on the front foot, with one brilliant run along the right only lacking a telling final ball at the death. Bobby isn’t a long-term answer to Kenny Tete’s proneness to spells on the sidelines. That is probably Kevin Mbabu – although it is obvious that the former Newcastle man has yet to satisfy Silva that he can be trusted with a first team start.

The head coach has a head scratcher in central midfield now, too, as Harrison Reed’s poorest showing of the season allowed Tom Cairney to emphasise his enduring class as he changed the game as a half-time substitute. Our Scottish playmaker hasn’t started a Premier League game this term but has been a key part of Fulham’s encouraging return to English football’s elite as someone who both helps his side keep the ball more effectively as well as being the best route to unlocking a resolute rearguard, who are sitting on a lead as Bournemouth tried to do yesterday. Perhaps the importance of replacements now the Premier League has switched to five substitutes makes Cairney the perfect ‘finisher’ but I’d love to see how he would do from the off against a side like Aston Villa on Thursday.

There were cheering cameos from the bench from Willian, who got into interesting positions along both flanks having also entered the game with the Whites in danger of being outplayed at half time, and Harry Wilson, who remains short of match sharpness having been injured by Tyrone Mings’ reckless tackle during a summer friendly at Motspur Park. You’d think the Welshman will eventually take the spot on the right wing that he made his own during a superb first season at Craven Cottage – and he showed during a loan spell with the Bournemouth side that were relegated that he can contribute at this level.

Silva certain gambled on Mitrovic’s fitness yesterday but the Serbian still made a telling contribution despite hobbling around on one leg at times. Even when the Serbian striker is well marshalled by centre halves, as yesterday, he gives them a good working over and prompts moments of madness from opponents, like when Lerma threw him to the floor in the penalty area. O’Neill’s anger at that decision might have been more tolerable had Andreas Pereira been penalised for being clothes lined by Craig Dawson last week – and perhaps the most pleasing aspect of yesterday was that Mitrovic was able to give Neto the eyes and slot his penalty into the opposite corner.

If Fulham are safely ensconced in mid-table without Silva knowing what his best eleven is it, what might the Whites do when the Portuguese manager finds the perfect blend?