FA Cup: Marco Silva talks up Fulham's title chances ahead of Man U clash
Fulham have exceeded expectations for large parts of the season, putting their recent yo-yo status to rest with a string of fine performances leaving them ninth in the table, and just three points behind Liverpool, going into the international break. Silva has galvanised the Cottagers, and they were flying high before suffering back-to-back defeats against Brentford and Arsenal saw them slip down the table. However, ahead of their first FA Cup quarter final since Roy Hodgson was manager in 2009-10, a year they also reached the inaugural Europa League final, Silva believes his side are capable of playing in the Wembley showpiece. "We have to prove on the pitch that we are capable of doing it (winning the FA Cup)," Silva said. "If you ask me if I believe? I'm 100 per cent sure I believe. I'm not saying that we are dreaming of it. "I believe we are able to do it if we are at our best level, (with) full respect to Manchester United. "I'm humble enough to say they are the favourites, at home, they've won the Carabao Cup."
Since taking the mantle at Fulham after their disastrous relegation during the Covid-hit 2020-21, Silva has rebuilt the side. His additions have included those with experience of playing at the top level including Bernd Leno from Arsenal, Andreas Pereira from Manchester United, and Willian, who has previously represented both Arsenal and Chelsea. Silva has urged those with experience to step up as leaders. "For us to be able to win the game we have to show improvement from our last two games, it has to be the first step for us to be able to be competitive," the Fulham boss said. "This football match is probably not natural for some of these players. But for some of the players it's not something really new and I expect certain players from our team to pop up in these types of moments. "Because there are certain moments for the big players, for the big characters to pop up, and the others if it's not natural it has to become natural. "It will become natural if you are competing and having these games season after season.
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