‘We are giving them confidence’ – Marco Silva explains tactical changes that helped Fulham see off Sheffield United.

Marco Silva explained that he is trying to generate confidence in front of goal among his forward players following Fulham’s 3-1 win against Sheffield United.

The Whites went into the game as the joint-lowest scorers in the Premier League this season but strikes from Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Willian and a Wes Foderingham own goal handed them the win.

An Antonee Robinson own goal briefly drew the Blades level midway through the second half, but Fulham deservedly earned the win after registering 20 shots at goal – the most they have managed in a game this term.

Fulham passed up a number of presentable opportunities to take the lead in the first half and had to wait until the 52nd minute for De Cordova-Reid to put them in front.

“We should be scoring more,” said Silva. “Our dynamic out wide was really good. From the left and from the right we started to create [chances] from the first moments.

“The normal thing is to put the ball in the net because some of the chances were so clear.

“We are working with them [forward players]. We are giving them the confidence to arrive in certain areas to score.”

Silva handed Carlos Vinicius his first league start of the campaign and although the Brazilian was not able to find the net, he did combine effectively with Fulham’s other attacking players.

Vinicius played an important role in the opening goal, holding up the ball before releasing Andreas Pereira to pick out De Cordova-Reid.

A new-look midfield that consisted of Pereira and Alex Iwobi in central areas with Willian and De Cordova-Reid on the flanks meant the Whites were far more threatening in attack than they have been in recent performances.

“We wanted to create more chances,” Silva said on the decision to field Iwobi centrally. “We needed more creative players around the striker and we decided to play with Bobby, Willian, Andreas and Alex behind the striker.

“Our striker has to be there to tap in the ball. In some moments we did almost everything right until that moment. In some moments we should have done completely different in the last situation, but the dynamic was really good.”

Silva also reserved praise for Joao Palhinha, as the Portuguese international registered eight tackles to ensure that Sheffield United rarely threatened the Fulham goal.

Palhinha was without his regular midfield partner in Harrison Reed but still managed to provide adequate defensive cover for Pereira and Iwobi.

“Joao is so important at the moment to balance the team,” said Silva.

“Iwobi has to adapt to the way that we defend. It is slightly different to what he is used to in the past, this afternoon he had to be our second midfielder off the ball side by side with Joao.

“It is something we are working on, and you can see it worked well this afternoon.”


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