Marco Silva hailed the instant impact of substitute Carlos Vinicius after the Brazilian striker took just three minutes to score the winner against a stubborn Luton Town side at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
Vinicius made the most of first taste of senior football this season – turning home the only goal of the game inside the six-yard box after Thomas Kaminski had parried a Willian cross into his path.
The Fulham head coach felt Vinicius’ winner was a fitting reward for a strong week of training at Motspur Park.
“He made the impact that we needed in that moment on the pitch, not just because he scored – but of course, scoring is always the most important thing for a striker. [It was] nice to see Carlos score. It was a very good week from him and he deserved the chance to go in and nice to see him be decisive for us. The competition [between Vinicius and Raul jimenez] is important for us.”
Silva heaped praise on Luton and their manager Rob Edwards after the Hatters frustrated Fulham for more than hour and had good chances to open the scoring themselves.
“[It was a] difficult one and, to be honest, we expected that. We expected that 5-3-2 always behind the ball. This afternoon they did it different with 5-4-1. Not something that we face every single week at this level. But we had to get used to that and show respect. I respect all the teams, all the strategies as well. Huge respect for Luton, I repeat again, what they did last season was unbelievable. They deserve the credit, they are fighting for something really important to that football club.”