Marco Silva claimed that not only Calvin Bassey was to blame for the mistakes that led to Fulham’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham on Monday night.
The Nigerian international gave the ball away in the build-up to goals by Heung-min Son and James Maddison in either half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
However, Silva believed the costly errors were not only the fault of the centre-back in what was just his second Premier League start.
“Tottenham pressed really strong and more on Calvin,” said the Fulham boss. “They knew that we were playing a left-footed central defender on the right-hand side, and we were punished for the mistake [for the first goal].
“What disappointed me more is the second goal. We spoke at half-time about what we should have done completely different, and we conceded a similar goal at the beginning of the second half after we had started well.
“We spoke at half-time that the solution for Bassey has to be completely different, the position of our midfield has to be completely different for him to have a solution.
“Not just the decision from Calvin was wrong for the second goal, the players should be there to avoid this type of mistake because of course it can happen. It is much more of a process than just one player making a bad decision.”
Silva was also disappointed with his team’s attacking efforts in north London as they mustered just three shots on target across the 90 minutes.
Joao Palhinha had the best effort of the first half with his header from a corner being well-saved by Guglielmo Vicario before the Spurs keeper denied both Raul Jimenez and Tom Cairney in the second period.
With Spurs dominating possession as they secured the three points that moved them back to the top of the Premier League, Fulham passed up several opportunities to counterattack effectively.
“What disappointed me was that in some moments with the transitions and the counterattacks, we have to make better decisions,” said Silva.
“We were three against two in some counterattacks and we have to decide much better. We tried to do everything really quick, we needed to be more calm.”
The Portuguese boss made a double change at half-time with Jimenez and Alex Iwobi replacing Carlos Vinicius and Andreas Pereira to try and address the team’s issues in attack, and Silva hinted post-match that it was due to the ineffectiveness of Vinicius in the first half.
The Brazilian striker registered the fewest touches of any player that started the game.
“When you are playing against a team like Tottenham that press really strong, you have to use your forward players well for the transition,” explained Silva when asked about the switches at the interval.
“In some moments of build-up we prepared for the striker to be a key player in that situation. Of course, we were not happy with the situation. With the change we tried to improve and give better solutions for the team.”
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