‘Not our best performance’ – Marco Silva has his say on Fulham’s defeat to Aston Villa

Marco Silva felt his Fulham side were not at their best in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa at Craven Cottage.

Two goals from Ollie Watkins condemned the Whites to defeat, with Rodrigo Muniz’s second-half strike not enough to rescue anything from the game.

Silva’s side more than matched the Champions League hopefuls for much of the contest, but the Whites’ head coach felt defensive lapses were costly.

“It wasn’t our best performance, particularly in the first half,” he said.

“The first goal was huge. It gave them confidence and impacted the game, it meant they could control the game in a different way.

“We knew what we were capable of doing and our plan for the game; unfortunately, a goal can change everything.

“In the first half, we were not at our level, but there were not many chances for them either.

“At the beginning of the second half, we had some dangerous moments. We tried to control the game and play more narrowly in our defensive half.

“We were punished for the second goal. It was really sloppy the way we defended that moment, it was like a punch for ourselves, but after the reaction from the 2-1 [goal] we were like a completely different team.

“From that moment, only Fulham were on the pitch. We pushed them back, it was our obligation to equalise the game. We had chances but we missed them.”

Muniz’s poked finish from an Antonee Robinson cross means he now has four goals in his last three games, and the Brazilian looks to have made the starting striker berth his own.

Chelsea loanee Armando Broja missed the game due to illness, and Raul Jimenez is set to be out for a number of weeks with a hamstring injury.

Silva still believes the best is yet to come from the 22-year-old though.

“The goals are always important for him,” said the Whites boss.

“He had some good moments, even in the first half he made some good moments.

“He understood the way we were trying to play, and I really believe he is going to improve.

“The room is so big for him to improve. He is a young lad playing his first games at this level. We cannot forget his age.

“He is making a big impact on our squad. He is helping the team to fight for results. I am pleased for him because he is a very good boy.

“He has skills and qualities to work with and it is my job to get the best out of him.”

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