Fulham’s doubters ‘don’t understand football’

Marco Silva says his Fulham players have dispelled suggestions they are thinking of their summer holidays following their recent victories over Everton and Leeds.

Silva’s ninth-placed side travel to Aston Villa on Tuesday still in contention for European qualification and the Whites boss said his squad have shown great character to bounce back from four straight defeats and not allowed their season to peter out.

Victory over Villa, who have been rejuvenated under boss Unai Emery to climb to sixth, will move Fulham to 48 points for the season, with the team then needing six more points to eclipse the club’s best-ever Premier League total of 53, under Roy Hodgson’s team in 2008/09.

“After the three points against Everton we achieved our first target of the season by getting to 45 points and now we want to get to go over the 53 points which is the most in this club’s history,” Silva said.

“We have heard so many things about ourselves and our football club which I think was really unfair.

“Only people who don’t understand football and do not know these players say these things.

“We have been building from the beginning of the season but everyone wanted to connect the four games, including the FA Cup game defeat against Manchester United where we were the better team for 70 minutes.

“Maybe it was people who do not spend much time analysing Fulham. That is not important for us but when I feel something is unfair about my players I have to be honest and say something.

“People were saying they don’t care and were on the beach. But football and the Premier is tough and there are small margins between winning and losing. They will keep fighting and I am proud of them.”

Fulham have no fresh injury worries for the trip to the Villa Park.