Marco Silva claimed that Tom Cairney was the best player on the pitch as Fulham ended a four-match wait for a Premier League win against Wolves on Monday night.
The Fulham captain was handed his first league start since the beginning of September in the 3-2 victory and proved to be a difference-maker in midfield.
Cairney won Fulham’s first penalty of the night after going down under the challenge of Nelson Semedo following a brilliant tackle on former team-mate Mario Lemina.
His head coach felt his display more than justified his place in the team.
“It was a very good performance,” said Silva. “He was the best player on the pitch.
“He started because he has shown to me in the training sessions that he deserves a chance.
“It was a game that I knew we were going to need more calm, and Tom Cairney can give it to us in these kind of moments.
“We know that it is important for Tom to be strong off the ball and to keep improving because on the ball he can do so many things for us.”
Silva was also pleased to see Willian find the back of the net twice from the penalty spot after Aleksandar Mitrovic missed four of the eight spot-kicks that he took last season for Fulham.
“We know the quality of Willian in that moment,” he said. “Last season it was my decision to not change the player taking the penalties because we had a player that needed his goals to get some more confidence.
“We always knew that Willian could take them for us as well.
“It’s nice to see him take the responsibility. They were two penalties in huge moments.
“It’s important that we score when we have these kind of chances and he did it.”
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