Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou credited his side’s 2-0 win over Fulham to their “outstanding” pressing after they returned to the top of the Premier League.

Goals from Son Heung-min and James Maddison confirmed the three points for the hosts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Postecoglou also praised the contribution of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who started in place of the suspended Yves Bissouma.

“I thought our pressing was outstanding the whole game and maybe in the first half we could have got one or two more to put the game to bed,” Postecoglou said.

“I thought Pierre was good and he’s been good in every game he’s played for us and he’s been put in some difficult situations and handled them well, he’s very experienced.

“I thought in the first half in particular we stayed calm on the ball and had some good tempo. Like I said I thought our pressing was outstanding all game and I thought he was a big part of that.

“He made interceptions for both goals and yeah it was important to have him in there, his experience coming in because Bissouma has been very important for us and in such a crucial role but I thought he was excellent.”

Spurs took their foot off the gas after their second goal, which invited pressure from Fulham, who had their chances to score late on.

And the former Australia manager was “disappointed” with his side’s second-half efforts.

He added: “I’m really disappointed with the second half, we were nowhere near the levels we have been all year and we have got to make sure we stay disciplined in our approach because the keeper made a couple of great saves to keep the clean sheet and within the context we should have had a much better control of the game.

“I’m not trying to make a point, it’s just what I saw. I thought we were really wasteful with the ball in the second half. We took some liberties with taking extra touches.

“I’ve been around long enough to know if you try to take liberties, you’ll get dragged down pretty quickly.

“I’m not going to let the fact that we’ve won the game disguise the opportunity there for us to improve.

“In the second half, with the ball we weren’t anywhere near the levels we’ve already shown this year and there was no real reason for it. It wasn’t as if the opposition did anything different. It was more self-inflicted.

“My role in that was to give feedback to the players. That’s what they want. They want to get better, they want to improve, I’ve got some stuff there to show them.”

Centre-back Calvin Bassey gave the ball away in the 54th minute and Tottenham punished the mistake through Maddison, doubling his side’s lead.

And Marco Silva admitted he was disappointed with the manner in which Fulham conceded the second goal.

He said: “We were punished by the mistakes that we made.

“What disappointed me was the second goal. At half-time we spoke and we conceded a similar goal in the second half. We were punished again with the same type of goal.”

Goals from key duo Son Heung-min and James Maddison sent Tottenham back to the Premier League summit with a professional 2-0 win over Fulham.

Spurs had claimed top spot before the international break, but watched rivals Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool all leapfrog them across the weekend to raise the stakes of Monday’s London derby.

Fulham proved no match for Ange Postecoglou’s resurgent team and after Son grabbed his seventh goal of an impressive season in the 36th minute, he turned provider after half-time with an assist for partner in crime Maddison.

It was the latest example of the pair combining and a further nod to the present with Son’s once-famed partnership with Harry Kane, now of Bayern Munich, fast becoming a distant memory.

Next up for Postecoglou’s pace-setters is a trip to Crystal Palace on Friday where they could extend their lead at the top to five points with another win.

This was Spurs’ first home match since the Israel-Hamas conflict started and a moment’s silence occurred before kick-off for the innocent civilians killed, during which several Israeli flags were held up by supporters in different areas of the stadium.

Tottenham were without the suspended Yves Bissouma, which meant Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg earned his second start of the season.

Hojbjerg’s other start was the Carabao Cup shoot-out defeat to Fulham in August, but the hosts quickly set about correcting the only blot on Postecoglou’s near-perfect copybook in N17.

Visiting goalkeeper Bernd Leno was alert in the second minute to deny Son after a trademark Maddison through ball before Micky van de Ven hooked over from a free-kick soon after.

While Spurs’ ascent to first had seen them score 18 times in eight matches, they had also tightened up defensively and summer recruit Guglielmo Vicario demonstrated his class with a crucial stop in the 11th minute.

A corner from Andreas Pereira picked out Joao Palhinha, but his towering header was brilliantly tipped away by Vicario’s left glove.

One-time Tottenham loanee Carlos Vinicius sent a header wide not long after before Postecoglou’s men started to turn the screw.

Richarlison curled wide from 20 yards following a lightning-quick counter-attack, but the breakthrough did arrive in the 36th minute through Son’s seventh goal of the season.

Van de Ven was first to the loose ball after a poor Calvin Bassey pass and touched into Richarlison, who recycled into Son’s path and Spurs’ number seven turned away from Tim Ream before he produced a sumptuous finish into the top corner.

It was a deserved opener and it could have been 2-0 moments later with Bassey first heading away with Son ready to pounce before the Tottenham captain back-heeled to Destiny Udogie, but his shot was blocked.

There was still time for another opening when Cristian Romero played in Dejan Kulusevski, although the Swedish attacker tried to tee up Richarlison when the goal was at his mercy and Fulham survived.

Fulham boss Marco Silva made a double substitution at the break with Raul Jimenez and Alex Iwobi introduced, but the second for Spurs arrived in the 54th minute.

It was a carbon copy of the opener with Bassey’s pass out from the back intercepted by the excellent Hojbjerg and Son played through to Maddison, who coolly angled beyond Leno for his third goal of the term.

With the result almost already assured, Udogie and Pape Sarr did limp off in a concern for Postecoglou before Maddison almost made it 3-0.

Maddison led the press brilliantly and forced another error from Bassey by winning back possession, but Ream came across to block his effort.

And another strong stop by Vicario from Jimenez late on secured a fourth clean sheet this season for the early leaders.

Ange Postecoglou has talked up the professionalism of Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ahead of his anticipated first Premier League start of the season.

Hojbjerg is expected to be drafted into the Spurs line-up for the visit of Fulham on Monday due to Yves Bissouma’s one-match ban for his red card at Luton.

Denmark international Hojbjerg was heavily linked with a move away from Tottenham this summer and Fulham registered an interest in the 28-year-old on transfer deadline day, but no switch to the London club or Atletico Madrid materialised.

While Hojbjerg has only started once this season in the Carabao Cup, he has been introduced in seven of Spurs’ eight league fixtures and become a key figure off the bench for his new head coach.

“I don’t think there was any time during the transfer window where I thought Pierre would move,” Postecoglou insisted.

“The discussions I had with him were that he was here and wanted to contribute, he wanted to be part of what we were building.

“It is obvious someone that has played regularly would have wanted to play more but ultimately our performances have been strong and he has had to bide his time.

“He has also been very important in a lot of the games that we’ve won late or had to shore up late. He has been one of the people who has helped us and it is not like he hasn’t contributed at all. He’s been a really important part for us.

“We wouldn’t be in this position if we were just reliant on our starting XI.

“It is something we impress on all of the guys that as disappointed as you are at not starting, it doesn’t mean you are not playing. You are still playing at some point and what you do with those minutes will help us be successful and push your own cause.


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“With Pierre, he is a professional and very determined to win a spot in the team. He presents himself well every day and over a 38-game season all of these guys will get an opportunity at some point. What they do with that is up to them.

“In the meantime, what is important is if they want to keep getting opportunities, they have to train well and when they do play, whether they start or not, they contribute to the team.”

Hojbjerg continues to be linked with a move away from Tottenham, but could earn further opportunities in the coming months.

Spurs will lose Pape Sarr of Senegal and Mali international Bissouma at the start of 2024 for the Africa Cup of Nations, which runs between January 13 and February 11.

That is a problem for Postecoglou to worry about in the future, but his immediate concern is facing Marco Silva’s Fulham without Bissouma, one of Tottenham’s players of the season.

He added: “(I’m) realistic enough to know you’re not going to run with the same XI and every week you wrestle with what the best sort of line up is going to be for you; fitness, form, the way they’re training, the opposition.

“With Bissouma missing out this game, we had to adjust without him at Luton which I thought we did awfully well with 10-men.

“We’ve got some options. Certainly Pierre is a ready-made replacement.

“He’s been training really hard, he’s obviously probably wanted to be playing more because he’s pretty much been a constant for the last two to three years, but when he has come on for us he’s done really well.

“For me he’s the logical one to come in but we’ve got some sessions left.”

Ange Postecoglou has hinted opportunities for his fringe players could be on the horizon ahead of a busy week for Tottenham.

Spurs return to action after the international break with a Monday night clash at home to Fulham and face a quick turnaround with a trip to Crystal Palace four days later.

Yves Bissouma is suspended for the visit of Fulham, which should see Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg earn a first Premier League start this season, and Postecoglou has also urged fit-again Giovani Lo Celso, Bryan Gil and Brennan Johnson to be ready if called upon.

“We’ve got a Monday night game and then we back it up with a Friday night game, so we’ll probably need a good deal of the squad to do those two games,” the Spurs boss explained.

“As good as we’ve been, there are still a few players like Brennan, (Rodrigo) Bentancur, Gil and Lo Celso who haven’t really played at all for us yet.

“Having them back, even in terms of training and raising the level, they are the things that will give us the focus to maintain and keep improving the performances.

“When there is competitiveness around the squad in training and playing, that guards against any complacency or anyone feeling comfortable about things.”

Bentancur is still “weeks” away from returning to first-team action after his anterior cruciate ligament injury in February, but Lo Celso will aim to make an impact over the next week.

Lo Celso was linked with a move away from Tottenham at the start of the summer before Postecoglou made clear his desire to keep the Argentinian, who then sustained a muscle issue in his only start of the campaign at Fulham in the Carabao Cup in August.

The midfielder is fit again now and made substitute appearances for Argentina against Paraguay and Peru during the international break.

Postecoglou said: “He is obviously very highly regarded within the Argentinian set-up because they always call him up and he played in both games.

“He didn’t play significant minutes but he played in both and played 15 to 20 in the second game. It is great for him and his confidence.

“Unfortunately he had a disrupted early part of the season but again another player we haven’t had a contribution from and that’s a pleasing thing for us.”

Postecoglou will hope to see Gil begin to contribute too following his return to full fitness after surgery on his groin in August.


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The Australian admitted Gil’s influence is even more critical with Ivan Perisic (ACL) and Manor Solomon (knee) out until 2024.

“Bryan can be really important for us,” Postecoglou insisted.

“It has been great to have him just working really hard at training. He’s missed all of this season so far and it’s well chronicled that we lost Ivan and Manor, who play in that left-wing position.

“Having Bryan fit and available again is great for us. He’s, I guess, in the same boat as everyone else because at some point he’ll be afforded an opportunity and then it’s up to him.

“He certainly has all the criteria and credentials to play in that position for us and, like I said, his training is getting stronger now, he’s part of the group and I’m sure he’ll get an opportunity.”

Tottenham midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur has returned to full training but is still weeks away from being in contention to play first-team football.

Bentancur saw his fine 2022-23 campaign cut short in February when he suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage to his left knee during a 4-1 defeat to Leicester.

The ex-Juventus midfielder had been one of Spurs’ best performers, scoring six times in 26 appearances last season and after eight months out he is close to a return, but will not be in the squad for Monday’s visit of Fulham.

“No, he won’t be in the squad,” Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou confirmed.

“We’ll be careful with him. Now he’s sort of fully training, so that means he’s into the whole session. We’ve drip-fed him into training the last month and he’s coped pretty well with that.

“Now he’s into full training. We’ve got to be mindful that he’s missed a fair bit of football, but I think the more he trains with the first team over the next few weeks, we’ll sort of pick our moment.

“He’s looking good at training and it was great to have him for the last couple of weeks fully integrated with the guys who are here and we’re looking forward to having him back.”

Joint-leaders Spurs will have vice-captain Cristian Romero and skipper Son Heung-min available for the London derby.

Romero suffered a whack to his ankle in Argentina’s 2-0 win over Peru earlier this week, while Son was visibly in discomfort during South Korea’s 6-0 victory against Vietnam, although did play the whole match and score in the friendly.


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No issues have been reported since the duo returned to Hotspur Way this week.


Postecoglou added: “It has been a pretty positive international break. In terms of availability I’ll start with the internationals first and everybody is back.

“The medical reports seem good so no real issue around the guys from a fitness perspective.

“Playing on a Monday night helps and all the international players should be fine but Brennan (Johnson) we will need to see.”

Johnson has not played for Tottenham since the north London derby at Arsenal on September 24 after he sustained a minor hamstring strain.

The Wales international is training again and set to be in the squad against Fulham, but Spurs will be without Yves Bissouma after he was sent off for two bookable offences at Luton a fortnight ago.

Postecoglou also revealed Dejan Kulusevski is fine after speaking with the winger who was involved in Sweden’s Euro 2024 qualifier at Belgium on Monday, which was abandoned at half-time following confirmation that two Swedish supporters had been killed in a shooting three miles from the stadium in Brussels.

“No, he is fine. I had a chat with him,” Postecoglou explained.

“Like everyone else we shake our heads at these things where you go to a football game and these kind of things happen.

“It is sad and kind of confronting how close it comes to your own world, but Deki is fine. He trained yesterday with the team and is ready to go.”

Sheffield United defender Chris Basham has been “overwhelmed by support” following his shocking injury sustained at Fulham last week.

Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom described Basham’s injury as “horrific” after he broke his ankle in the first half at Craven Cottage.

The 35-year-old required extensive medical attention before the game resumed and has since had two operations.


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Basham said on Instagram: “Had my two surgery’s done now and I can’t thank the surgeons enough for the fast response to me, the first surgery was for cleaning up the wound I suffered and dislocation, the second surgery was to repair the ligaments and to fit a plate on my bone where the fracture was.

“I’m in a cast now and it feels a lot more comfortable.

“Will be in London still for another few days but then be going home to recover in the right way.

“Trying to stay positive everyday with great family and friends around me. Still overwhelmed by the support I have received thank you.”

Basham is in his 10th year with the Blades, having joined from Blackpool in 2014, and has made eight Premier League appearances this season.

The Blades won promotion back to the top flight last season but have yet to register their first win after eight matches and sit bottom of the table.

Fulham manager Marco Silva described Willian as “class” after the Brazilian’s stunning display in the 3-1 victory over Sheffield United at Craven Cottage.

The 35-year-old added Fulham’s third in stoppage time and was largely unplayable during a dominant performance.

Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s strike and an unfortunate Wes Foderingham own goal had twice put the Cottagers ahead with the Blades equalising after Antonee Robinson put into his own net.

After Willian opened his account for the season, Silva said: “He was class. He’s a class player and he has incredible quality.

“He played with a very good intensity and it was probably one of his best games this season so far and I’m really pleased for him because of the quality he has.

“He did so many things. The way he created on the left was very good.

“The players with the top quality can decide any moment of the game and they make the difference in football. The decisions Willian made came in the right moments and he’s a top-class player.

“He scored the goal because he believed he had other chances to score and I’m really pleased for him.”

Fulham have struggled for goals since the August departure of star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, scoring five times in the Premier League prior to the victory over the Blades.

Silva believes his players need to be more clinical in front of goal after missed chances in the first half gave Sheffield United a way back into the game through Robinson’s own goal.

“The first half we were at a very good level,” Silva added.

“From the right and the left we were creating from the first moments and when you create so many chances, the normal thing is to put the ball in the net because some of the chances were so clear.

“We are creating more and the goals have to come if you are creating the number of chances we are.

“It was a game where we could have scored more goals. But we got three and we have to be happy with three.”

Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom was left frustrated.

He said: “In the second half when you’re in control of the ball, losing it at the top-end of the pitch and for us to concede is poor and it’s a naivety.

“I can’t fault the effort, the organisation and the intent of the players but it’s a naivety when you’re playing against these.”

Willian rolled back the years as Fulham cruised to a 3-1 victory over Sheffield United.

The 35-year-old Brazilian produced a stunning display, cementing his side’s win with a third goal following Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s strike and an unfortunate Wes Foderingham own goal.

United’s only goal also came when Antonee Robinson put into his own net.

Fulham – looking to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat to west London rivals Chelsea on Monday – started strongly and in the sixth minute Willian picked the ball up on the left and beat his man on the outside before De Cordova-Reid failed to convert his inch-perfect delivery.

Willian was off the pace on Monday but he looked to make up for it with surging runs forward, one which nearly set up Vinicius before his own shot inside the box was saved by Foderingham after 19 minutes.

Play halted for an extended period after Blades skipper Chris Basham suffered a serious ankle injury which saw him carried off on a stretcher with the score at 0-0.

But the Willian show resumed immediately and Fulham went close when the former Chelsea winger combined with Vinicius on the break before a quality defensive tackle denied the hosts taking the lead after 40 minutes.

Sheffield United were being outfought, they rarely had meaningful touches in Fulham’s territory and their first-half performance begged the question as to where their chances would come from. Their hosts always looked the favourite to get the first goal.

And Fulham should have done just that but they squandered the best chance of the match so far during 14 minutes added-time.

Willian ghosted his marker with his explosive acceleration before he produced another exceptional cross to the feet of countryman Andreas Pereira who somehow found a way to sky his chance from six yards out.

Fulham’s wasted chances were a reminder as to why their five league goals are the joint-lowest in the Premier League this season.

But in the 53rd minute the Cottagers took a deserved lead through De Cordova-Reid.

Fulham transitioned quickly and a splitting pass from Pereira set the Jamaica international through before he held his nerve to convert past Foderingham and give the hosts a 1-0 advantage.

But in the 67th minute Sheffield United forced an own goal to level the score at 1-1.

Fulham’s Issa Diop went down injured but the Blades refused to kick the ball out and Yasser Larouci’s dangerous cross cannoned off Antonee Robinson into his own net.

The goal was far from deserved but the Cottagers paid the price for their earlier missed chances which opened the door for the opportunistic visitors to strike.

However substitute Tom Cairney bailed his side out when his long shot forced an own goal and gave Fulham the lead.

The Scot let fly, hitting the crossbar and the ball bounced on to the back of the well-beaten Foderingham and into the net as Fulham took a 2-1 lead in bizarre circumstances.

Willian got the goal he deserved in the eighth minute of stoppage time with a powerful shot that beat Foderingham and settled the game.

Levi Colwill believes Chelsea team-mate Mykhailo Mudryk can be “one of the best in the world” and hopes the winger can now kick on after scoring his first goal for the Blues.

Mudryk has struggled to tie down a starting spot at Stamford Bridge since his big-money move from Shakhtar Donetsk in January and, prior to Monday’s trip to local rivals Fulham, had not managed a single goal for his new club.

However, he finally broke his goalscoring duck with the opener in a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage and Colwill, who set up the goal with a fine pass, hopes it will do the 22-year-old Ukraine international the power of good.

“It was amazing, I’m so happy for him (Mudryk), luckily I found him,” Colwill said.

“Of course he deserves the goal. He’s a great player, he could be one of the best in the world and he needs to kick on from here and hopefully he can push on.”

Mudryk, who has now started the last three Premier League matches for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, was replaced at half-time against Fulham due to a niggle but defender Colwill felt the £88million man showed exactly what he is capable of before being forced out.

He added: “It’s been tough for him since he joined but during the first half he was amazing and I think everyone can see the qualities he has. We see it all the time in training, he’s such a good player.

“To come here and bring it for the first half was amazing and he has to build from it.

“He’s got everything. Everything you want as a winger.

“It’s tough coming from Ukraine to Chelsea and it’s a pressure he might not have experienced with the different culture too. So it’s always going to be tough but soon we’ll see the player he is.”

Mudryk’s 18th-minute opener against Fulham was quickly followed by an Armando Broja goal as Chelsea claimed only their second Premier League win of the season.

Broja started ahead of the suspended Nicolas Jackson up front and netted his first goal since returning from the cruciate ligament injury he suffered last year.

“I’m so happy for him, it was a long time he was out injured. He came back and has been working so hard to come into the side and score which is the best way to come back,” said Colwill, who believes having increased competition for places will help push both Broja and Jackson.

“One hundred per cent. They’re both great strikers so to have that battle day in day out for starting positions is going to be good for both of them, they’re both going to learn and when they come on the pitch they have got to take their chances.

“Armando has got everything, he’s a problem. I’d hate to play against him. He’s big and strong and takes his chances.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva felt his side were not aggressive enough which allowed Chelsea to strike twice in two minutes and claim west London derby bragging rights.

He said: “It’s a disappointing result for us in certain moments and in terms of performance. The first half was not aggressive enough on and off the ball. We were flat in some moments and were not dynamic.

“They got behind Harrison Reed, Joao Palhinha, our midfield and caused some problems for us.

“When the game was balanced they scored the first goal and we were too passive the way we reacted to Colwill’s cross and after that we were punished by another mistake by ourselves (Tim Ream).”

Mauricio Pochettino promised Chelsea will continue to show belief in their young stars after Mykhailo Mudryk scored his first goal for the club in their 2-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Armando Broja, making his first start since injuring his ACL in December, also netted as the visitors gave their most convincing performance yet of the manager’s reign and ended a run of three Premier League games without a goal.

Chelsea took the lead after 18 minutes when Mudryk chested down Levi Colwill’s expertly-flighted cross and nudged the ball past Bernd Leno as the Fulham goalkeeper advanced.

And within a minute it was two, Cole Palmer dispossessing Tim Ream who was careless with the ball at his feet and feeding Broja, who deflected the ball home off Ream’s attempted clearance.

It was a dominant first half from Chelsea with Palmer, making his first Premier League start for the club after impressing in the EFL Cup win against Brighton last week, making a critical difference coming deep to collect the ball and starting the visitors’ attacks.

Ian Maatsen, on at half-time in place of Mudryk, struck a post after the break as Pochettino’s side threatened a third, and it was not until 14 minutes from time that a lacklustre Fulham threatened a response when Robert Sanchez blocked Sasa Lukic’s close-range shot.

Pochettino pointed to the patience the club have shown in waiting for their expensively assembled but young side to come good, particularly Mudryk who finally broke his scoring duck nine months after jointing from Shakhtar Donetsk for £88million.

“The difference (tonight) is the result,” said the manager. “The performance was really good. First half I think we played really well, second half we controlled the game.

“I’m pleased for Mudryk, and for Armando. For Misha because he has scored his first goal in the Premier League and then for Armando, after a long period out he’s scored again. The competition is really good for the team.

“It’s about maturity, adaptation. We need to understand that young people need time, need to settle. Massive change for him when he arrived here. I think when you arrive in a team, it’s not easy to settle because there were too many young players that arrived in a team (that) was not solid.

“They need to add something to the team, to build something important. Always it’s difficult, but it’s about time and to have patience, to trust these guys and these young, talented players, and to build their confidence.

“It’s a massive job. It’s step by step. Sometimes people have not the patience, but for us it’s about being patient. Even when we were losing and when we didn’t win from the beginning of the season, we were calm and kept the belief.

“Now that we’ve won two games in a few days it’s (still) important to stay calm.”

It was the fourth game in a row in which Mudryk had started, having not been in the starting XI for any of Pochettino’s first five matches in charge.

He was withdrawn at half-time with what the manager said was an issue with his quad, but he is expected to be fit for Saturday’s trip to face Burnley.

“He played because he deserved it, and he showed in training that he deserved it,” said the manager. “He was really focused in training and had the confidence to go on the pitch and play.

“Normally it’s the player that needs to show us that we can trust in them.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva reflected on a game in which he felt his team lacked the required aggression as they fell to a third league defeat of the season.

“Disappointing result for us,” he said. “At certain moments, performance-wise as well. They started intense from the first moment, winning some individual challenges that gave the boost they needed.

“Our first half was not aggressive enough on and off the ball. We were sloppy in some moments. We did not bring the dynamic that we should. Even our first pressure didn’t work very well.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva talked up “quality” Chelsea midfield pair Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez ahead of the west London derby at Craven Cottage.

Chelsea broke the British transfer record twice this year, signing Fernandez from Benfica for a reported £106.8million in January before beating Liverpool to confirm the transfer of Caicedo from Brighton for £115m in August.

Silva spoke on how the pair’s price-tags reflect their ability and expects them to bring the fight to Harrison Reed and Joao Palhinha on Monday.

“Enzo joined in January and Caicedo in the summer as well,” Silva said. “They’re quality. We are talking about two players they almost spent £250 million on.

“This speaks about the quality and about how much they wanted them in their squad.

“Plus (Conor) Gallagher in the midfield, they have the quality, the energy, they have the organisation to create a very good fight with our midfield line and I think it will be a very good fight because they have that quality.”

Alex Iwobi’s second-half strike during Wednesday’s Carabao Cup third round 2-1 victory over Norwich was his first Fulham goal since his reported £22million move from Everton on deadline day.

Silva, who also signed Iwobi as Everton manager in 2019, spoke on the Nigeria international’s versatility and what he offers to his squad.

“It was very good (Iwobi’s performance against Norwich),” Silva added.

“He’s a player I know really well, he knows the Premier League so well and he’s mature. He has the quality, can play in many different positions and is a player that will give us the quality that we need in certain parts of the game.

“He provides that extra energy as well. It was good for him to score on his first game in a Fulham shirt and I want to see more of him.

“He’s going to be a really important player for us and I am pleased for him for starting his first game.”

From Chelsea’s starting XI during their 2-1 loss at Fulham in January, Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah are the only remaining players at the club.

Silva said: “They are different and we are different as well. I think the game is going to be completely different. We can have a look for some things, but it will be different. They have a different manager.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva expects a “tough game” against Chelsea despite Mauricio Pochettino’s side making a poor start to the season.

Chelsea have taken just five points from their opening six Premier League games and head to Craven Cottage, where they lost 2-0 in January, for a west London derby on Monday.

Silva touched on his relationship with the under-fire Pochettino and the Argentinean’s pedigree as a manager.

“Of course I respect him like I do all the managers but I have a very good relationship with Mauricio,” Silva said.

“I don’t know how many times we’ve played each other in the Premier League but he’s a very good manager.

“Look at what he did at Southampton, then Tottenham and then the spell in France (with Paris St Germain) – with the CV he has he’s come back to England to manage Chelsea, which is a tough job much like many jobs in the Premier League.

“I have huge respect for him, he’s a very good manager and a very good guy and it will be nice to see him again.”

Chelsea fell to a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa last week where Malo Gusto and Nicolas Jackson picked up suspensions for Monday’s game.

Silva refused to take confidence from Chelsea’s recent league form – they have not scored in their last three, taking only one point – and highlighted the quality in their squad after a £1 billion-plus revamp since last year.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” he added.

“Chelsea is Chelsea and no-one can underestimate them because the quality is there.

“Of course they haven’t started the way they would of liked to and since Mauricio come in they are trying to get them in a position to fight for titles.

“Against Chelsea it doesn’t matter what they did in the last few games, after the defeat to Villa they reacted and they won against Brighton in the Carabao Cup which is a goal for them (to win).

“Since January they have signed a big number of players who are very good and these things take time.

“Mauricio, the staff and the players will want to keep improving and to react and if we underestimate them it will be the first big mistake.”

Silva highlighted the importance of the derby to Fulham fans.

He said: “We play at home and it’s a derby, a special one for our fans and we want to play for the shirt and make them proud.

“The game is important for our fans, we want to be competitive, fight for the three points and to make their life (Chelsea) difficult as well.”

Marco Silva called for Fulham to be more ruthless in front of goal after their narrow 2-1 win over Norwich in the Carabao Cup third round.

Goals from Carlos Vinicius and Alex Iwobi sealed victory for the Cottagers despite Borja Sainz’s 75th-minute effort for the visitors.

Manager Silva believes Fulham need to convert more chances after they nearly paid the price for their earlier missed opportunities.

“We had some good moments but we missed many chances to kill the game before and to score more goals,” Silva said.

“Until the moment (Iwobi’s goal) we did not take the goal and against this type of team who have enthusiasm in this competition the game was tough and was always open.

“We created a big number of chances but we need to be more ruthless and effective.

“We have to finish moments when the ball is inside the box. We had it from the right and from the left so many times.

“We need to be more assertive in those moments because we created enough.”

Iwobi’s memorable second-half strike was his first Fulham goal since his reported £22million move from Everton on deadline day.

Silva lauded the Nigerian and mentioned the reasons behind signing the midfielder.

“As you know he’s a player I know really well and I was responsible for him to sign for Everton as well,” Silva added.

“I know what he can do as a player for ourselves in different positions on the pitch.

“He has qualities, he’s dynamic and his energy as well is going to make him an important player for us.”

Norwich manager David Wagner credited his side’s performance on a night where they narrowly avoided drawing level and forcing the game to penalties.

He said: “It was good to see us play by our structure and principles. We are a side who can be good against a Premier League side which is still the case even though we made changes.

“It was good and it will give us a major boost for what is in front of us.”

Fulham advanced into the Carabao Cup fourth round after they fought hard to beat Norwich 2-1 at Craven Cottage.

Goals from Carlos Vinicius and Alex Iwobi were enough for Marco Silva’s men who responded well after the weekend’s lacklustre 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.

Fulham found success early on down the left flank through Willian and Fode Ballo-Toure, who created a 10th-minute chance for Vinicius that the striker headed over.

Vinicius justified a run out after his winner against Luton two weeks ago and he opened the scoring in the 10th minute.

Willian’s floated delivery found Iwobi at the back stick and he headed it across goal to Vinicius who tapped home.

Silva had called for more chances to be created during games and Fulham did just that through Harry Wilson, Willian and Tom Cairney.

Norwich responded and fluffed a golden chance to level against the run of play in the 19th minute when Przemyslaw Placheta’s driven cross fell kindly to Tony Springett, who dragged his shot wide.

Minutes later Norwich’s whipped corner found the head of towering centre-back Jaden Warner and Marek Rodak saved.

A neat switch from Wilson in the 39th minute resulted in the ball being played back in the other direction to Vinicius who should of doubled his tally from six yards.

The tide changed after half-time and it was Norwich’s turn to put pressure on the hosts.

It started with Sam McCallum who beautifully slalomed through white shirts before firing wide.

In the 51st minute, Kellen Fisher let fly from outside the box but his effort clipped the outside of Rodak’s post as Norwich were denied any rewards for their attacking flurry.

Craven Cottage demanded more and on the hour Silva’s men threw numbers forward in an effort to firm their grip on the tie.

Willian, who was the standout player for the hosts, delivered a floated corner which fell to the unmarked Wilson who sweetly volleyed past goalkeeper George Long before Adam Forshaw managed a last-ditch clearance off the line to keep it at 1-0.

But Fulham doubled their lead in the 72nd minute.

Iwobi drove forward with the ball and combined with Wilson before the Nigerian guided the ball into the bottom corner to open his Fulham account.

But typical of the end-to-end game, Norwich equalised after 75 minutes through Borja Sainz.

The explosive Adam Idah burst away on a counter-attack and found Sainz whose first attempt was denied by Rodak before he managed to bundle the ball into the net to give the Norfolk side hope.

Despite Norwich’s best efforts Fulham held their nerve during five minutes added time to seal victory.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson admitted he “feels sorry” for referees challenged with incorporating a host of new Premier League rules and regulations implemented before the start of this season.

The 76-year-old returned to the dugout at Selhurst Park after illness caused him to miss last weekend’s trip to Villa Park, and disagreed with Fulham boss Marco Silva that the Cottagers were the superior side in Saturday’s goalless draw.

Among the changes this season is a crackdown on having more than one coach inside the technical area, a decision Hodgson will still need some convincing to embrace.

The former England coach said: “I feel so sorry for the referees. All these new directives, which to most of us who have been in football for a long time can’t really make an awful lot of sense, but they feel obliged to follow it through.

“Little things annoy you. Why can’t somebody from the bench, one of the coaches, come and stand by me for 30 seconds to shout instructions with you before being told immediately you’ve got to go back to the bench?

“It’s our job to do that, our job is to coach the players, work with the plan. I can understand if people are crowding in the bench in that area and making a nuisance of it.

“But if you’re talking about someone who comes out from time to time to say a couple of words, where is the problem? How does football benefit from that?”

The two London sides entered Saturday’s contest with almost identical records to start their season, Hodgson’s men having scored just one more goal than Silva’s to separate them in the table.

Both teams had chances, Eberechi Eze firing just wide late in the first half of his 100th appearance for Palace while both Raul Jimenez and Willian were denied by Eagles keeper Sam Johnstone.

Fulham squandered a second-half chance with an overpowered pass, while Hodgson’s introduction of Jean-Philippe Mateta to play up front alongside Odsonne Edouard failed to break the deadlock.

Hodgson said: “I’ve seen many games like today lost by just one goal. We didn’t do that, so the positive is we can be better, we will be better and we got one more point in our bid to move up the table.”

Fulham boss Silva, however, felt his side did enough to deserve more.

He said: “I think overall during the game we were the team that created more chances to win. I think I’m pleased with the performance, just we have to be much more effective in our attack, when we’re in certain areas of the pitch.

“I think we were strong enough with good organisation, very good work from our two midfielders and our two central defenders. Good work from our two full-backs as well.

“I think overall we were the best team on the pitch and deserved three points, even if the game was balanced, of course, but the team that created more was ourselves.”

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