Marco Silva frustrated by missed chances as Fulham draw with Sunderland
Fulham manager Marco Silva believes his side should have capitalised on their numerous chances after being held by Sunderland in an entertaining 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage in the FA Cup fourth round.
Jack Clarke pounced on an Issa Diop mistake to give Sunderland a sixth-minute lead, but their advantage was cancelled out by a Tom Cairney equaliser in the 61st minute.
Fulham started the game on the front foot as they looked to return to winning ways following successive league defeats but, despite having 22 shots during the match, they were unable to find the net on more than one occasion.
Reflecting on the game itself, Silva believes Fulham could have been more clinical in both their finishing and passing.
“Strange game I can say,” the Fulham manager said. “It was an intense game, a typical FA Cup match I think that’s fair to say.
“Of course we were more dominant but the game was too broken for me as a manager to enjoy it, to be honest.
“We conceded a cheap goal but overall in the game I think we’ve created enough chances to score more goals. On the other side I think we gave many opportunities for them to score as well and some counter-attacks where we gave the ball away in certain moments.
“We lost some important challenges and that was the part of the game I didn’t like.”
While neither side will have wanted to add to their already congested fixture schedule, they now face the prospect of a replay at the Stadium of Light.
“We were not able to win and go through this evening, and we have to go to do what we couldn’t do this afternoon in 10 days. It’s so simple,” Silva said.
“We had the chance in 90 minutes to do it and we didn’t, and now we have to go to do it in 10 days or 15 days.”
Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray drew attention to the youth in his side after matching their Premier League opponents.
When Ross Stewart was carried off the field on a stretcher midway through the first half, for what Mowbray said was an Achilles injury, it forced Sunderland into their first substitution of the afternoon and considerably lowered the average age of their line-up.
Christopher Rigg, a late replacement who is aged just 15, then thought he had scored the winner for the visitors in the final minutes of the match but the goal was ruled out for offside.
“The overriding thing today was the positivity of an extraordinarily young team that was on that pitch,” Mowbray said.
“Once Ross came off there were only two players over the age of 22 or 23 on the field and they played against Fulham, who beat Chelsea out here a couple of weeks ago and are riding high in the Premier League.
“So I think it was a good performance from a very young team that played with a good attitude and who threatened their goal from the start and could have added to our scoreline.”