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Silva says scoring streak is no guarantee of promotion

EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Andrew Fosker/Shutterstock (12763661u) Fulham Head Coach Marco Silva applauds the supporters Fulham v Birmingham City, EFL Sky Bet Championship, Football, Craven Cottage, London, UK – 18 Jan 2022

Marco Silva is delighted by Fulham’s goal glut since the turn of the year – but insists their recent scoring streak is no guarantee of promotion.

The Whites have hit nineteen goals in three matches in the space of eight days and opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Championship after beating Birmingham 6-2 on Tuesday night. The Portuguese head coach was delighted with his side’s ruthlessness in front of goal, but reiterated that it would count for nothing if Fulham don’t go up.

Speaking in this afternoon’s pre-match press conference before Saturday’s trip to Stoke City, Silva said:

“It’s a consequence of our philosophy and the quality with which we are playing. The numbers are there, great results in the last eight days to score so many goals is something fantastic. But at the end it was three games, nine points and nothing more than that. It has been really, really good but the stamp will be there if we get our main goal at the end of the season.”

He is taking nothing for granted and highlighted the competitive nature of the Championship as well as the promotion credentials of this weekend’s opposition.

“We are there but we have so many contenders around us. We have quality but they have showed quality as well. The main thing for us is to keep focused on our main goal.”

Silva also dismissed reports suggesting that teenager Fabio Carvalho would definitely be leaving Fulham at the end of the season when his current contract expires.

“Until now I have nothing on the table which says he will be gone. If you ask me if it’s a good situation for a young boy to be coming to the last year of his contract, of course it isn’t. We have been trying to get this done. Until now it wasn’t possible, let’s see if until the end of the season we can do something.”

Como launch Knockaert loan bid

Como are keen on taking Fulham winger Anthony Knockaert on loan for the remainder of the season, according to reports this afternoon.

Fulham are keen to see Knockaert, who has made just four appearances this season, go out on loan during the January window. The 30 year-old, signed for £15m from Brighton in 2019 after a loan spell at Craven Cottage, has slipped well done the pecking order under Marco Silva having spent the second half of last season on loan at Nottingham Forest.

The former Brighton and Leicester City winger is keen to gain more first-team football but it remains to be seen whether he will be attracted by the prospect of a move to Lombardy, with Como currently eleventh in Serie B.

Robinson revels in Fulham’s fine form

Antonee Robinson says Fulham are full of confidence following their sensational scoring streak – and says the Whites want to keep on attacking at Stoke on Saturday.

The American full-back made one goal and scored another in Fulham’s latest 6-2 success against Birmingham City on Tuesday evening – and told FFCTV that Marco Silva’s side are delighted with their start to the year.

“Yeah, it’s been a crazy week. We weren’t expecting to come back and have such a run of form like that. We’ve just been really dominant in our games. Everyone’s really confident at the minute. Obviously, after the long break, we were all itching to get back and get some results after we got beaten by Sheffield [United]. I think on the pitch it shows that we’re just hungry to keep winning.”

Robinson revealed that he was very disappointed with his own display in the defeat by Sheffield United before Christmas – and was pleased to play such a prominent role in the victory over the Blues.

I had a little spell out where I felt ill, came back and I wasn’t very happy about how I played against Sheffield [United]. In that long break, I was the same as everyone, I just wanted to get back on the pitch and try be more like myself again. Recently I feel like I’ve been playing well. It’s really nice to get a goal and an assist and be involved in the amount of goals we’ve been scoring – so I felt great.

Fulham have scored nineteen goals in three matches over in the space of only eight days and Robinson believes that confidence will take the league leaders to Stoke this weekend in good spirits.

“Everyone’s on top of the world. We just feel like we should keep going and play the way we love to play. We’ve seen it all season – if we play our game, we’ve going to win games. If we keep that confidence that we’ve had in the last few games, we keep going game by game, getting the results and hopefully at the end of the season it will be positive.

I don’t think we are scared of anyone. I think teams will be fearing playing us, especially looking at the scorelines – not even how many goals we’ve scored, I think we have been playing some great football. We’re going to go there full of confidence and thinking we can take all three points.”

Fulham confident Carvalho will sign new contract

Fulham remain confident that Fabio Carvalho will sign a new contract with the club, according to Sky Sports News.

The talented teenage playmaker has been heavily linked with a January move to Liverpool over the past few days with his current deal due to expire at the end of the season. Carvalho, 19, took his goal tally for this term to seven as he bagged a brace in last night’s 6-2 thrashing of Birmingham City at Craven Cottage last night.

Fulham sources have told Sky Sports this evening that they are still hopeful that the England youth international will commit his future to the club. They say that the lines of communication between the youngster’s representatives and the club’s hierarchy remain open and believe that the player’s positive relationship with head coach Marco Silva and the prospect of Premier League football next season can convince Carvalho to stay with the Cottagers.

Fulham 6-2 Birmingham City: Player ratings

Olly Johnson rates Fulham’s performances after the Whites scored six again last night – this time against Birmingham City

Marek Rodak: At the time I thought Rodak couldn’t have been expected to save either of Birmingham’s goals but looking at replays and being slightly harsh, you may suggest he should’ve tipped Ivan Sunjic’s shot behind for a corner. Aside from a comfortable save down to his left at the near post he didn’t have enough to do to justify a higher score. 6

Denis Odoi: Old reliable Odoi was selected over Tete at right back and, as he did earlier in the season, when Tete was injured, he filled in superbly. A few shaky touches throughout the game showed he may have been short of match practice but overall he was solid and with a great low cross he put one on a plate for Kebano to grab our second of the game. 7

Tim Ream and Tosin Adarabioyo: There isn’t a huge amount to say about the two centre backs, two goals conceded might suggest they had poor games but both goals were almost unavoidable from their point of view and chances were kept to a minimum for the remainder of the game. Ream almost got caught out in the first half and a lack of pace without Robinson covering showed his weak side. Tosin enjoyed spraying the ball across the pitch throughout the game, his success rate wasn’t as high as it could’ve been but on the few occasions it came off it was very effective. 7

Antonee Robinson: He’s had a bit of stick this season but here he was excellent and fully merits praise. Solid at the back with good attacking intent and really starting to build a partnership with Kebano down the left hand side. His pace has been causing defences big issues the last few games and although the end product hasn’t always been there for him, he has opened up space to allow others, mainly Kebano, to capitalise. Today though he put in a super cross to assist Carvalho and then helped himself to a goal at the death and what a great finish it was. We thought we might only get five goals today but Robinson was on hand to ensure we got six once more. 8

Harrison Reed: Whilst he did his job well for the majority of the game a silly lunge could very well have resulted in a red card on another day and left us in a spot of bother with Seri missing for the next few matches. He was also the player who you’d expect to have been there to challenge Gardner before he scored Birmingham’s second goal but he’d been dragged out of position. It certainly wasn’t a poor performance but we know he’s capable of much better. 6

Tom Cairney: He’s been absolutely integral to our goal scoring form recently and last night he got in on the action himself as he coolly passed it into the net via the upright. His all round game was brilliant once more, what might seem like a lack of urgency at times is just an incredibly calm player waiting for the right moment to move the ball forward or into space, he does it so well and when on form his tempo can dictate the entire game. 8

Fabio Carvalho: He showed signs of getting back to his best on Saturday and now he’s right back on track. It was a joy to watch Fabio as it has been on many occasions this season. His strength, composure and skill on the ball is up there with the very best youngsters in the world. He drove the ball forward and got the crowd on their feet on a number of occasions, an unexpected but beautifully placed header put us 3-0 up and cruising before he set one of for Tom Cairney on the stroke of half time. His 2nd of the game drew parallels with his goal on the weekend, a lovely shift in weight showed him onto his right foot on the edge of the area before he placed it, once again, into the bottom right. I called it Messi-esque on the weekend and I’ll do the same again today. Man of the match for me and whilst I can’t see him staying I can only hope we get to watch him for the rest of the season. 9

Harry Wilson: A lively game out on the right wing for Wilson, his energy up and down the wing was evident throughout and it was his run fed through by Cairney which set up the first goal, a simple cross which would’ve provided Mitrovic a tap in had the defender not got to it first to divert it in for an own goal. 7

Neeskens Kebano: It was a quiet start for the Congolese winger but a great run from wide across the defender at the front post allowed him to latch onto Odoi’s low cross and dispatch his finish into the back of the net. From then on he was involved regularly down the left and played a part in Cairney’s goal as well as Carvalho’s first. 7

Aleksandar Mitrovic: We scored 6 goals and he had no goals or assists!? I never would have thought this was possible. Despite that, Mitrovic which integral to almost everything we did in our build up play. He held the ball up and battled well in a slightly deeper position at times, drawing in opposition players in numbers allowing us to capitalise on the space that created. Its a side to his game which has progressed significantly since Silva took over the reigns. 7

SUBSTITUTES

Bobby Decordova-Reid: He had some bright moments and after last season we know what he can do but a lack of game time seemed to let him down here, he had some great opportunities to be involved in promising attacking play but on three occasions it broke down with him. 5

Nathaniel Chalobah: He quietly got on with his job in the middle of the park, at this stage in the game there wasn’t a huge amount of work to be done but show off his passing range. 6

Josh Onomah: With just 10 minutes left when he came on there wasn’t a big chance to make an impact but he managed to create a few very nearly moments, I think Onomah always does a great job at carrying the ball forward and he did that yesterday at a time where we became a little lacklustre (probably understandable after netting 18 goals in less than three games by this point). 7

Dutch loan looms for Kongolo

Fulham defender Terence Kongolo is likely to finish the season in his homeland, with a number of Dutch clubs considering a loan move according to reports this afternoon.

Marco Silva has made it clear that Fulham are looking to give their injury-prone defender some game time by arranging a loan before the end of the January transfer window and the clearest interest appears to be coming from the Eredivisie. Reports in the Dutch press this afternoon say several Dutch sides are open to taking the 27 year-old on loan for the remainder of the campaign.

Kongolo has made just two appearances since turning his loan move from Huddersfield Town, which was curtailed by a foot injury, into a permanent £4m transfer back in October 2020. The Dutch international has played four games for Fulham’s under 23 side but Fulham are now keen for him to prove his fitness with a consistent run of games. A move back home would appeal to Kongolo and his first club Feyenoord are thought to be at the top of the list of suitors.