Brentford clash will be a ‘proper derby’, says Fulham boss Marco Silva
Marco Silva expects his Fulham side to play out “a proper derby” against Brentford when the two teams meet in the Premier League on Monday night.
Fulham have exceeded all expectations this season and go into the weekend seventh in the Premier League table, level on points with Liverpool.
The Cottagers have already got the better of Brentford earlier in the campaign, securing the points in a closely fought 3-2 win thanks to a 90th-minute decider from Aleksandar Mitrovic.
And Silva believes Monday’s fixture will be just as challenging for his players.
“It was a very good game in my opinion that first game, a proper derby. There was a late goal that gave us the three points,” the Fulham boss said.
“They have been really consistent, they are really compact, a solid team as well.
“They can be a threat at any time in this competition, but at the same time they are solid, they are compact and they are strong in the duels as well.
“I think it will be a tough one and I think it will be a proper derby again.
“We are going to face a team in really good form. They’re unbeaten in the last 11 games in the Premier League and they know as well that they’re going to face a strong Fulham side and a team that is going to go there and fight for the three points.”
One of the players who has made his mark in recent weeks for Fulham is Manor Solomon, who struck his fourth goal in as many matches to help send the Cottagers through to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The winger joined on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk last summer, but has impressed in recent weeks after a difficult season in which he spent almost five months on the sidelines nursing a serious knee injury, with his recovery carefully managed by the London club.
However, despite his role in recent matches, Silva would not be pressed on whether he has made moves to try and make Solomon’s deal permanent.
“It was a long process for him to sign with us. He was one of the first targets for me, one of the first players that I put on the table for our board to do their best to sign,” Silva said.
“Of course all that situation with Shakhtar took a little bit longer than we would have liked, but in the end we signed him on loan and we have to wait for the right moment to speak with him again and see what the decision will be.
“It is not something that is our focus right now, it’s not for me or for Manor to focus on this situation. We focus on the next game and to get the best from him, and he is really focused on his role in this football club.”