A week on from the minute of madness that cost Fulham a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the dust hasn’t settled. It’s still blowing every which way. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the weekend papers. The Mail on Sunday has a ridiculous piece suggesting that Marco Silva thinks he’s the new Jose Mourinho, the Sun describes Aleksandar Mitrovic as ‘a Serbian brickhouse’ whilst praising Harry Kane as a role model (oblivious to the fact that England’s new record goalscorer placed his hands on a referee as Luke Shaw was sent off on Thursday) and the incident has apparently cost him a move to Old Trafford. Every cloud carries a silver lining and all that.

The absurd over reaction to Mitrovic’s altercation with a match official continues. It was nice to see him smiling as he led the line for Serbia in their opening European Championship qualifier the other night. Both Silva and Mitrovic were in the wrong and will be punished. The precise nature of that punishment is what it is at issue. The drumbeat of demands for a ban that would see Fulham’s number nine miss the remainder of the season was only briefly interrupted by striking outpouring of common sense in the Sheffield Star, adding the crucial context that Paolo di Canio’s 11-match suspension was not merely a result of his pushing Paul Alcock, but a consequence of the Italian having been red carded before he attacked the referee.

The neutrals will believe that these instances of ill-discipline will come to define Fulham’s season. The ugly scenes will, however long the punishment, deny the Whites the services of their head coach and their most potent goalscorer for some considerable time. What rankles, as I wrote in an earlier piece, is the fact that the book will be thrown at little old Fulham for their transgressions because they aren’t too big to punish. But it shouldn’t doom our first campaign back in the big time. Yes, Silva, a strong contender for manager of the season by the way, should reflect on his touchline demanour – where he is too quick to question a debatable decision – but we have coped without him before and Luis Boa Morte, one of the first people onto the pitch to calm things down last Sunday, can continue his development as an underrated coach by taking over from his compatriot.

Boa Morte, rather like Mitrovic, has nothing to prove to the Fulham faithful. Not only was he one of the key figures in the stylish Jean Tigana side that stormed to the Division One title, but the wily winger became one of the Whites’ most consistent performers as London’s oldest professional football club established themselves in the top flight. His winner against Chelsea, just like the one Carlos Vincius headed home in January, became a moment in Fulham folklore but Boa Morte had already starred in the SW6 derby – sending Marcel Desailly for a hotdog at Stamford Bridge to secure a valuable point for Chris Coleman with the Whites battling relegation in 2003. Boa Morte turned down various chances to leave Craven Cottage for bigger clubs – and didn’t even want to exit when Fulham accepted a £5m offer from West Ham in 2007.

If the more mellow 45 year-old now feels like he is making up for lost time at Motspur Park, it might be because Fulham failed to take him on permanently after the cult hero began his coaching career by assisting the club’s academy coaches. He gained experience at Sporting Lisbon, worked as a scout with his old club Arsenal and enjoyed spells with Portimonense, Sintrese and Maccabi Haifa before linking up with Silva at Everton. Boa Morte has made such an impact on Fulham, especially on wingers like Neeskens Kebano, that several Championship clubs considered him as a potential manager last season and there is a feeling within the English game that could potentially progress to the very top now that the scowl with which he played has almost permanently been replaced by a disarming smile.

Boa Morte stepped into the manager’s role when Silva suffered through an FA Cup replay on a press gantry at Sunderland and is likely to do so again. He will have no shortage of support from Silva’s experienced coaching staff, which also includes Stuart Gray, a man who has literally been there and seen everything during a lifetime in football. A prolonged suspension for Silva, alongside a big ban for Mitrovic, will be damaging to Fulham’s immediate fortunes but should foster a further sense of togetherness in what remains a tight-knit dressing room. Judging by the reaction of the Fulham faithful at the end of our Cup run and since on social media, a siege mentality could follow from the fans.

The biggest problem is probably what to do in Mitrovic’s absence. Fulham’s talisman is much more than a goalscorer, although his relief at ending almost three months without a goal at Old Trafford was obvious. He is the focal point of the attack, able to drop deep and start moves as well as finish them and every centre back is scared of Mitrovic’s movement and aerial prowess. You’ll never get another striker like the Serbian number nine, which is why his sending off was so maddening. The impending ban will give Vinicius, who finished impressively against two of our near neighbours for his two Fulham goals to date, the sort of run in the side that the Brazilian hasn’t had since signing back in September. Carlos can’t be considered a like-for-like replacement; he’s an entirely different forward, but I don’t believe he’s as dreadful as some of the social media critics claim.

Fulham don’t like to make things easy for their long-suffering followers. We know that – and being a follower of a team that has never won a major honour is character-building within itself. You learn to lose gracefully, even when you don’t feel like accepting defeat. It might feel like doom and gloom at present, but there is an opportunity around the corner. Plenty of people have written off the remainder of the season with Silva and Mitrovic set to be missing for a while. I take a different view. Fulham’s run in is kinder than most of the teams in and around the top half. The Whites have made the pundits eat their pre-season words already; why can’t this terrific team do it again?