Marco Silva feels Fulham deserve to be in seventh place in the Premier League – and believes the newly-promoted side might be even higher had they had a bit more fortune during the season so far.

The Portuguese head coach takes the Whites to Brighton and Hove Albion, who are a place above them in the table, with his team sitting in a European qualification position. Silva has been reluctant to entertain talk of continental football, but admits he is pleased with the quality of Fulham’s football.

He told this afternoon’s pre-match press conference:

“We deserve to be there and we probably could have had more points. The position gives players confidence and the boost they need. The best way for us to prove it is on the pitch. We have a target inside this club, clear, in terms of points. Until we achieve it we won’t change our target. If we get it, I’ll be the first to create another goal. Because we need this. All of us feel we’re on the right track.”

Silva knows that his confident outfit are facing a serious test of their mettle at the AMEX Stadium on Saturday, with Roberto di Zerbi already building on Graham Potter’s good work with the Seagulls.

“His idea is clear. He’s doing a very good job. Brighton have been improving season after season, when he came in they were in a good position. But he’s a very good manager, he’s proving that. The players are adapting to his style. In almost 100 per cent of the games they have more possession. They can frustrate teams. We have to be aware as we’re a team that like to have the ball. But we have full confidence in ourselves.”

The Fulham boss was pleased to have the backing of Fulham’s vice chairman and director of football operations, Tony Khan, alongside the fans.

“It’s important when people in charge are happy with you. The main thing is to make the fans happy. Then at the same time, to make the owner feel you’re improving the club. When they’re complimentary, it’s a good thing.”