Fulham boss Marco Silva insists he has no regrets about not starting the Championship season with Marek Rodak in goal.
Rodak, an integral part of Fulham’s promotion-winning side in 2019, was jettisoned for loanee Alphonse Areola in the Whites’ doomed Premier League campaign and it looked as if he was to spend another season warming the bench when Paulo Gazzaniga was installed as first choice by Silva.
But after an uncertain start to the season that saw the promotion favourites lose three and draw two of their first 11 matches, keeping just two clean sheets in the process, Gazzaniga was axed in favour of Rodak following a 4-1 humbling by Coventry.
Since the Slovenian stopper’s recall, Fulham have chalked up seven wins and conceded just twice to move to the top of the Championship table.
Victory over bottom club Derby at Craven Cottage on Wednesday will leave Silva’s side just three wins shy of the club-record 11 straight recorded by Jean Tigana’s promotion winners in 2000, and Silva acknowledges that Rodak’s performances have been a key factor in his side’s impressive run.
“Marek is doing fantastic. He is doing really, really well,” Silva said.
“He waited for his chance and during the pre-season he got a small issue at an important moment before the start of the season and Paulo had just joined the football club.
“He played the last pre-season match and I had to decide who would be first choice and I went with Paulo who started the season very well.
“The reason I decided to start with Marek again was not because it was Paulo’s fault we had a bad result.
“But Marek when he wasn’t playing was always pushing and working hard and I decided to give the shirt to him and he has been fully deserving of it.
“In seven games he has five clean sheets and has made good saves in the matches and he knows what we expect from him and I expect him to keep improving and working hard.”