Aleksandar Mitrovic and Marco Silva have offered personal apologies to referee Chris Kavanagh for their conduct that resulted in Fulham receiving three red cards in 40 seconds as the Whites surrendered the lead in their FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester United last month.

Through statements issued on Fulham’s website this afternoon, Silva and Mitrovic apologised for their actions that marred Fulham’s FA Cup exit at Old Trafford and expressed a willingness to control their emotions better in future.

Mitrovic, who was sent off for the first time in five years at Fulham after placing his hands on the Greater Manchester official after he had overturned his decision to not award United a penalty and sent Willian off, said:

“I have been away with my national team and have had some time to reflect on the Manchester United match. As everyone knows, it was a very emotional one, in which the team gave absolutely everything on the pitch to try to reach the semi final of the FA Cup.

On a personal level, I regret my actions that led to me being sent off. I allowed my frustration to get the better of me, and how I reacted was wrong. I was trying to get the referee’s attention, but I appreciate that I should not have put my hands on him and I understand why he showed me a red card, my first in-game sending off for Fulham and my first since the 2015-16 season.

I have accepted the three-match ban for my red card, I have spoken to Chris Kavanagh to apologise, and I have volunteered to accept a club fine. I now want to do what I can to put this incident behind me and get back to helping my teammates on the pitch as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I would like to reiterate my regret that this happened. I have already said sorry to my team-mates, but I would also like to apologise to the Fulham fans, particularly those who travelled to Old Trafford to support us and who did not stop singing all game. I hope to be back soon and repay their faith and support.”

The Football Association have indicated that they belief a standard ban for Mitrovic’s conduct to be insufficient – preparing the ground for the Serbian striker to be banned for longer than the three matches that would automatically follow a dismissal of this nature.

Silva, who was sent off for exiting his technical area, throwing a water bottle in the direction of the assistant referee and for foul or abusive language directed towards the officials, also apologised for his comments in the aftermath of Fulham’s defeat – where he expressed dissatisfaction at Kavanagh’s decision-making over the course of the past twelve months.

The Portuguese head coach added:

“Emotions were high at Old Trafford and, as I said in my press conference after the game, I should have controlled my own emotions better. It was a very difficult moment, in a match that we had dominated, but I could have handled the situation better.

I regret what happened, and I have spoken to Chris Kavanagh to apologise. He knows that I respect him and the job he has to do. Unfortunately, we did not see eye-to-eye on the day, but I recognise that he is one of the top referees in this country and I know that, when our paths cross again, there will be mutual respect between us.

I am sorry that I was not on the pitch to try to lead the team to what could have been an historic FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley, but I am thankful for all the support I have received from Fulham fans over the last few days.”

Like his star striker, Silva faces a potential longer touchline ban as this is not his first transgression during what has proved a fiery season on the sidelines.