Tim Ream credits Marco Silva’s arrival at Craven Cottage with reigniting his Fulham career and has revealed how the Portuguese head coach has given the Whites the belief that they can prosper in the Premier League.

The veteran centre back feared his time on the banks of the Thames was coming to an end under Scott Parker as Fulham went down with a whimper, but now feels he is playing some of the best football of his life at the age of 34. The St. Louis-native has been an ever present, despite the summer signing of Issa Diop for £15m, as the pre-season relegation favourites sit seventh in the table ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Everton.

Ream told the Metro:

“I was 33 when we were relegated and you think, “Is this it? Are you coming towards the end?” I thought it very well could be. But now I’m feeling rejuvenated and a few weeks into last season I thought, “We can definitely do this again (win promotion)” and I wanted to be part of that. Doubts always creep in after a long, hard, unsuccessful, unfulfilling season like the one before that but it’s nothing a good couple of weeks away couldn’t sort.”

The former Bolton defender admits that Silva’s arrival at Motspur Park came at just the right time.

“For me it was the best thing and perfect timing. From the first day he walked in it’s been fun. He’s brought joy and fun back to my game and also has that hard work ethic too. Everybody wants that feeling from their boss, right? That feeling that your boss believes in you and has confidence in you no matter your age or performances. To have that completely changes your mindset and outlook – and that doesn’t change at 35.”

Ream is adamant that this Fulham side are different from the teams that struggled to adjust to the top flight in previous years.

“We have a group now who have learned from those experiences. We’ve learnt from what didn’t work and have a confidence and belief in ourselves that can’t be understated. We have trust in the guys in the changing room and you can see that on a daily basis. You respect everyone but you fear no one – that’s how I’d put it. We know what our squad is capable of.

We know a good start will, and has, put us in a very strong position and we want to keep that up. Everyone picks who they think [will get relegated] – that’s the world of sport – but it’s refreshing not to be in that conversation among ourselves and not have those lingering doubts about who we are or why we’re here.

Even where results have not gone the way we wanted, there’s not really any panic. No overly negative feelings. We’ve always come in positive to training the next day. A loss isn’t bringing the team down.”