Marco Silva hopes all the Fulham players will return from the World Cup in an ideal physical condition to face the demands of the rest of the season.
In the final match before the Premier League took a break for the tournament in Qatar, Manchester United teenager Alejandro Garnacho scored a stoppage-time winner to earn the visitors a dramatic 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage.
Christian Eriksen’s first goal for United had put the visitors ahead after 14 minutes but Fulham deservedly drew level just after the hour mark through former Red Devils winger Daniel James, before Garnacho’s decisive goal.
It was another late heartbreak for Fulham after they suffered defeat in the final moments for the second successive Premier League match, having previously been beaten by a stoppage-time penalty at Manchester City.
For Silva, the defeat was tough to take, but he wants his side to work on their late lapses.
“It’s tough to take. It will probably be tough for me tomorrow (Monday) and that’s it,” the Fulham boss said.
“I want the players now to have a small break. Of course, I wish all the best for the players going to the World Cup; it’s a great tournament and they deserve to enjoy it, so all the best for them.
“The players that are left here will have a small break and after they will have to start to work hard to come back stronger and that is the way.
“We will come back not thinking that we lost this game in the last minute or this game one week before as well.
“It’s a moment to work on these types of moments to improve and we have to come back stronger as a team.
“Let’s hope everyone comes back in the best physical condition they can, and the players coming back from the World Cup as well because, all together and all fit, we are stronger as a team.”
Fulham have a number of players going to the World Cup, including Joao Palhinha (Portugal), Harry Wilson and James (Wales), Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson (United States) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia), and the manager hopes all will return without significant injury ahead of the remainder of the domestic campaign.
“I will be watching, I will be analysing, I will enjoy as well some games,” he said.
“I hope, of course, not just our players, but all the players come back in a good physical condition to be ready for the second half of the season.”