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Cairney feels Fulham’s confidence growing

Tom Cairney says Fulham’s confidence is sky high following seven straight wins – and believes Marco Silva’s side could be on track to be the best Fulham team he has played in.

The captain told the club’s official website this morning:

“I’ve played in some very good Fulham sides, and the thing about this team is we’re scoring a lot of goals. We’ve hit three or four a few times this season, which is not easy to do, so when you do that and you believe you can do that going into games, it fills you with a lot of confidence. And we’ve got a striker who’s on 21 goals in November, which is a bit crazy, and he would have had another if he wasn’t so unselfish.

It’s stupid, it’s a little bit silly. I know the Championship record is 31, hopefully he can keep this form up. He’s on course to have a very, very special season. When you’re going into games with that in your armoury, it fills you with confidence.”

Cairney knows that Derby will represent another stern test tomorrow night after beating Bournemouth at the weekend. He is full of sympathy for the Rams’ plight following their points deductions.

“I’ve not been a player in that position so I can’t imagine what it’s like, but I’m sure it’s hard. You’re fighting an uphill battle after having points taken off you. It’s tough being at the bottom of the league and obviously there’s a big gap now, so as a professional player I do have sympathy for them, but we’ve got to do our professional job and go out there and try and beat them. If they get out of it then I think it’s one of the best escapes in Championship history. We’ve seen crazy things in football before so we can’t rule them out, but it’s a massive uphill climb.”

Wilson wants to keep winning run going

In-form winger Harry Wilson has urged his Fulham team-mates to keep their winning run going when his former club Derby County come to Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.

Marco Silva’s side have won seven league matches in a row after beating Barnsley 4-1 on Saturday and Wilson told FFCTV this afternoon that maintaining that fine form after the international break was a key focus for the players:

“It was great. Obviously the international break, I think last time round we slipped up the result after so we were desperate this time round to not let them happen again. We knew we were in fantastic form before the break. We were determined to continue that. To get back on Saturday, put in a good performance and get a good win, we’re obviously all delighted with that.”

Wilson scored his sixth goal of an impressive season at Craven Cottage and believes his form has improved in the last few matches.

“I think my numbers have picked up in the last couple of games, which has obviously been great for me. I am hard on myself. I just want to make sure that I’m improving my numbers each game. I know with the quality that people have got in this team – especially Mika – if I make them runs nine times out of ten, I’m going to be found. The pass was perfect and I was happy to finish it off.”

The winger, who laid on a goal for Neeskens Kebano, almost created another for Kenny Tete after a spellbinding piece of skill along the byline.

“I think to play a one-two with Hec and I thought he was going to turn and I half stopped. As the ball ran free, I managed to get there and I felt that was the only way I was going to keep it in. To do a little skill and then to pick Kenny out, unfortunately he wasn’t able to finish it but we know if we keep creating chances in this team the players in the box are going to finish them off.”

Wilson has fond memories of a season spent on loan at Pride Park earlier in his career – when his outstanding individual displays helped Derby reach the play-off final – and won’t be taking Wayne Rooney’s side lightly on Wednesday, despite the fact that the Rams sit bottom of the table after two points deductions for financial irregularities.

“I loved my time there from start to finish. I finished on a bit of sour note losing the play-off final but my experiences there, I’ve got nothing but fond memories. The fans, the way they treated me, the support they gave me was unbelievable and the team we had. I made friends for life and people that I still keep in contact with now. I’ve got nothing but happy memories from that place.

To see a club that you feel so strongly for being in the situation they’re in, is obviously sad. I watched their game yesterday, they’ve still got a fantastic team and more than capable of picking up another points. It is going to be a very, very difficult task for them to stay up but I think the players and the manager have got to stay positive and show the fans that they are fighting for the badge. Who knows what will happen come the end of the season?

He knows that Derby will be desperate to prove a point to the rest of the division and follow up Sunday’s sensational win over Bournemouth with another big scalp.

“Definitely. They’ve got nothing to lose. No one’s backing them to stay up and they’ll want to prove everything wrong. It’s up to us to keep our good run going and a win on Wednesday sets us up nicely for the weekend.”

Carvalho chuffed to return with a goal

Fabio Carvalho said it felt ‘amazing’ to complete ninety minutes and end his injury hell with a goal as Fulham cruised past Barnsley at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

The talented teenager made his first start since August after being troubled by a toe injury and complications caused by contracted coronavirus and scored a terrific goal to put the Whites two to the good ten minutes before the break. The youngster, whose creativity and sharpness adds a different dimension to Fulham’s forward line, told FFCTV after the final whistle that the only disappointment was not to keep another clean sheet.

“It was a good performance from the team. Good to get the 4-1 win. They were tough to be fair. I know the scoreline’s 4-1, but it was a tough game – they were very physical and committed. Unlucky not to get the clean sheet, but we go again next week. One of the main things the manager drilled us in at half time was to get the clean sheet. We tried so hard, but it didn’t come for us. We defended well throughout the whole game, it wasn’t just the back four – it started from the front, which is a perfect thing to take.”

Carvalho was delighted to link up with in-form forward Aleksandar Mitrovic again and the pair combined superbly for his well-taken goal that put clear water between Fulham and their opponents.

It’s something I’ve been trying to practice in training a lot – combinations off Mitro a lot, because I know if I play it to him, the ball’s going to come back to me. Obviously, it worked today and I’m looking to keep that on and hopefully we’ll get more goals from it. He always pushes me in training to do the best I can. We had such a good chemistry before, but I obviously got Covid and I was injured, but it’s good to be back now and we’ll look to continue this chemistry. He’s just amazing. When he’s confident and on top form, he’s just unplayable at times. You know that if he shoots it’s a goal. He’s just amazing to play with. He keeps pushing me, he gets the best out of me.

He was especially pleased to come through a full ninety minutes in what was a physical encounter and wants to help Marco Silva’s side continue their excellent run of recent form.

I’m glad to be back. I’m playing in front of the fans as well, who I love. It’s great to be back. Obviously, you can’t play every game. I’ve come back from injury, I’m not going to start straightaway. I got my chance today and I took it – I’m very happy.

Kebano: Big win ‘feels so good’

Neeskens Kebano was buzzing after capping another superb individual performance with a goal as Fulham thrashed Barnsley at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

The Congolese winger was a constant threat down Fulham’s left flank and grabbed a deserved goal by lashing home a first-time volley from Harry Wilson’s cross late in the second period. Kebano, who appears totally rejuvenated under Marco Silva, told FFCTV of his delight after the final whistle:

“It feels so good. A home game, we won and we go again and hopefully we will have the same as we had last month, we started well. We know that every game is going to be tough because teams are going to be waiting for us. We have to be there, we have to be Fulham and that’s we showed today.

Kebano was pleased that Fulham took the opportunity to move to the top of the table today with Bournemouth not in action until tomorrow, but is confident that the squad won’t be resting on their laurels as a result.

We know our goal. It’s not because we are first now, we are going to drop some points like we did in the last few months. We have to turn up every weekend, grab us as much points as we can and hopefully we get what we want.

The winger is delighted to be enjoying his most consistent run of games in his five years at Fulham and was pleased with his individual display this afternoon.

“I always try to bring danger. I think that’s what I did again today. With the goal, it’s just the cherry on the cake. I think about the last goal we scored – Wilson’s goal. That was a mad goal.”

Silva delighted after Fulham put Barnsley to sword

Marco Silva felt his Fulham side produced an almost perfect performance after putting four past Barnsley this afternoon to move to the top of the Championship.

Silva was rewarded for his adventurous starting line-up as the Whites overcome a jittery start to cruise to a comfortable win with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fabio Carvalho, Neeskens Kebano and Harry Wilson scoring the goals that secured a seventh straight victory. The Fulham head coach told his post-match press conference:

“A very good game from ourselves. I give all the credit to our players and congratulate them for doing what we had planned. We were committed from the first until the last, apart from two or three moments. Congratulations to them.

The first 10 minutes was not really good. They came here with a clear plan to block some of our moments we would have liked to explore on the opposition side. After the first chance that we had with Hector, we started to express ourselves, to find the moments to explore, to find the spaces and the gaps, and we started to play in the way we like.

Second half was much better, some very good moments of football, some very good goals, which is what we planned to do. I’m pleased to see we scored four, we could have scored many more. It could have been a perfect afternoon, apart from the goal that we conceded, and I have to keep working with our players on that, to focus from the start until the end. But it was a fantastic performance from ourselves.”