• By Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Silva's pledge about champions Fulham for next season


Marco Silva has vowed to stay true to Fulham’s style of play and not change next season just because they are in the Premier League.


The Whites secured the Championship crown in fine style – thrashing Luton Town 7-0 in front of their delirious fans, who were deprived of a promotion party two years ago because of the pandemic.


But if anyone thinks the Whites will have to abandon their swashbuckling, possession-based way of playing in order to survive, that is not how the boss sees it.


“Of course, next year will be different,” he said. “The opposition sides will have different quality. And we cannot hope just for the goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic next season.


“But one thing I’m sure is that I won’t change as a person or a manager and our philosophy will not change. The games will be different. If you ask me now if I will have 70 per cent possession, I know it will not be. I’m not stupid. I know what is ahead of us and in certain moments of games we will not be so dominant as this season. Our main idea though will not change – our philosophy – because it’s inside of us.


“Of course we have to prepare ourselves. We have to be creative and be humble enough to understand the type of competition we will play but it would not make sense if we played with one face for 12 months and the next season we played completely different. We will not do it.


“We have created something – not necessarily better than previous seasons: I don’t want to judge. It’s not for me to do it. But we built something special this season with most of the players being better than they were at the start of the season. It’s a fantastic feeling.


“I want more. I’m celebrating with my players but I’m thinking of the future as well. We have to be really competitive next season and compete at a high level and make ourselves proud in every single game.”


Silva added: “It’s really, really important for us to go with full confidence in ourselves, positive, knowing the new challenge ahead of us but at the same time believing in ourselves and what we are able to do.


“We have something to prove as a club. It’s a great competition to play – the best competition in the world and from 15 days ago we started work to prepare ourselves well. To start pre-season in the right way.


“In one year’s time we want to be happy with ourselves and to be pleased with ourselves as well. But one thing is sure, we will fight 100 per cent to achieve our goals.


“It’s a great achievement for this football club and we did a fantastic season. We know next season will be different, with different conditions. We have to do our job. Not really different from what we did this season. They worked really hard and next season they will do the same.”


Silva reserved special praise for Mitrovic – the Championship player of the season – who took his season’s tally to an incredible 43 in the rout of the Hatters.


“He’s been brilliant, brilliant, brilliant,” Silva said. “It’s fantastic for him to break records and I’m pleased for him because apart from the quality and the amazing number of goals he has scored, he’s a very good professional. He's a good guy and he deserves the season he’s had.


“He will be more confident, definitely and we have to be more confident as a club. He will be a better player. Last time he was 23 and it was first time for him in the Premier League. This time, the third time, he will be a better player at 27, for sure.”