Harrison Reed says Marco Silva has made Fulham fit for the Premier League this term by encouraging the Whites to go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the country.

The tenacious midfielder encapsulates the change of mindset at Craven Cottage – transformed from the holding midfielder who joined the club under Scott Parker into a box-to-box operator, who has grabbed two goals in five league appearances after going more than a hundred games without finding the net. Reed told the Mirror that Fulham’s bold approach, which has seen them surprise everyone by rising to seventh this season, was driven by Silva’s philosophy.

“The manager wants us to do it our way, be on the front foot and that’s been key. The result on the first day against Liverpool was huge because you see Liverpool first day and you think: ‘This is going to be tough.’ But there was never any fear from the manager and that comes across from the players. He wanted to be front foot, attacking and you could also feel the energy from the crowd, even just walking out to do the line-up. That first 20 minutes set the tone for the season.

In the past, I think we’ve struggled after going behind but this time we’ve won from losing positions. The message from the manager is there are 95 minutes of football, we don’t give up and we fight for the club, the fans and for each other. The manager is so clear, every player knows exactly what is required of them. He’s just an all-round good manager from his tactics, knowledge of the game and experience as well. I think you can see that in our performances on the pitch and it’s a reflection of him on the pitch.

We had a disappointment two years ago, we had to go again in the Championship, [a] new manager coming in and we don’t want to be there again. That’s a huge motivation for all of us.”

Reed says Fulham’s head coach was the driving force behind his deployment in a more advanced role than he had previously played in his career.

“He spoke to me and told me how he sees me, he told me how dynamic I could be, he felt I could play more than just the 6 role, be more attacking, box-to-box and I’ve loved it. I think I went over 100 games without scoring for Fulham. I wasn’t too prolific in my other seasons but I did score for Norwich and Blackburn and then to come to Fulham and go two seasons without a goal then, of course, it’s on my mind. But then playing in that more advanced role, I put pressure on myself to contribute to the team for sure. To see a couple hit the back of the net, to chip in with assists and it’s a really good feeling.”

Reed downplayed suggestions that he could be a dark horse for Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad, preferring to concentrate on maintaining Fulham’s fabulous start before the enforced winter break.

“I want to perform to the best level possible, push Fulham as high as possible and anything that comes with that is a bonus. Of course, it’s a dream to represent your country but it’s not something that crosses my mind at the moment.”