Marco Silva has denied that Fulham are relaxing after reaching a degree of safety in the Premier League – but insisted that his side’s performances must pick up after five consecutive defeats.

The Whites have surpassed all pre-season expectations to still sit in tenth place despite a wretched run of form that continued with a frustrating defeat at home to West Ham last week. Fulham reached 39 points more than a month ago, but have been beaten by Brentford, Arsenal, Manchester United, Bournemouth and West Ham since beating Leeds in the FA Cup at the end of February. Their last league point came in a home draw against Wolves and you have to go back more than two months for Fulham’s last Premier League victory – a smash and grab raid at Brighton secured sensationally by Manor Solomon.

Silva told his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton:

“I can understand people who are thinking this way, but I know the club and our players, how they react their character and personality, and it is not the reason at at all. If I thought it was something like that I would be the first one to stop it straightaway. It’s part of football, sometimes when you do the right things confidence is at the top. But when you are not sometimes players do not have the maturity to be consistently at their best level.

The Fulham boss says his side are focused on arresting their mini-slump on Merseyside this weekend.

“Of course it’s not been a good run for us. Of course it’s something that we are talking about, we are analysing and we are working hard to get on the right track again. In my opinion, it shows two things that are clear … three months ago, four months ago, five months ago, even last month, what we have been doing so far this season is exceptional. You have a lot of things to keep working on to keep improving. That is clear because these type of runs can happen at this level. Like the runs that we had before with so many good games and many good results.

We have to work harder to stop it happening again, and show the things that we did so, so well before and after the World Cup break. And show the other thing, that we have big, big room to improve in all aspects to be at this level and to be more consistent.”

The former Everton head coach admitted to disappointment that he will not be able to be on the touchline on his first return to Goodison Park.

“It will be a good feeling. Unfortunately, I will not be on the touchline, it’s always much better if you are on the touchline. When you manage a club like Everton it’s always a huge honour to be there and to work in a big club, and that was my feeling all that period that I was there. It will be good, at the same time, to see some familiar faces for me, some people that I really enjoyed working with, some people that welcomed really well myself and my staff in that football club.”

Silva needs no reminding that Fulham need to be at their very best to match a resurgent Everton outfit rejuvenated by Sean Dyche.

“It will be a football match that Everton wants to win, we want to win as well, in a good environment. You know always at Goodison that the fans are really behind the team, they are going to create the right atmosphere for the home team. We have to show the personality and everything that we need to, to match them and to fight for the three points.

On the former Burnley boss, specifically, Silva added:

““He’s doing very well. The team felt straightaway that he made a big impact since he arrived at the football club. The club was in a difficult moment in the table, with the results, and of course the impact is there. They’re more confident right now, with the connection with the fanbase that always plays a big role in that football club as well. Sean Dyche is doing a very good job.”