The key quotes from Marco Silva's post-Derby County press conference
Photo by Getty Images/Stu Forster

Championship table-toppers Fulham were held to a goalless draw at Craven Cottage by resilient bottom-of-the-table Derby County on Wednesday night.

A dominant display for the hosts — in which they had 60% of the ball and mustered 21 shots compared to their opponents' four — earned them scant reward, and their run of seven straight league victories is now over.

Fulham head coach Marco Silva addressed the media after the match — here are his most noteworthy quotes.

On fine margins

Fulham hit the woodwork twice — through Jean Michael Seri in the first-half and Fabio Carvalho in the second — and drew a number of fine saves from Derby goalkeeper Kelle Roos throughout the match.

Silva's possession-based style of play did well to pin the visitors back and often suffocated them at times, but his side lacked that crucial cutting edge necessary to find the breakthrough. The head coach was keen to emphasise just how close Fulham had come to victory.

"In the first half we were a little slower than normal in our build-up, but we created more than enough to win the game," said Silva. "We hit the post, someone cleared it off the line, big saves from the goalkeeper — unfortunately we didn't score."

On team selection

The starting line-up certainly sprung a few surprises. Although the re-instalment of Tosin Adarabioyo after suspension was a natural choice, goalkeeper Marek Rodak, captain Tom Cairney and leading goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic were all absent from the squad without prior warning.

Silva shed light on the respective situations of the trio.

"Mitrovic and Cairney are both ill. Even some of the others like Harrison [Reed], Bobby [Decordova-Reid], Antonee [Robinson] and Harry [Wilson] had some problems these past few days, we had six or seven players in this situation.

"Rodak is a really strange situation: they said he had contacted with someone on the plane who had Covid. If the game was two days later he could've played, but there's a protocol, and we respect that."

On Muniz's performance

Young Brazilian forward Rodrigo Muniz was brought into the starting line-up and given the almighty task of filling Mitrovic's boots — that was always going to be a tall order.

The 20-year old endeavoured tirelessly and did come close to scoring on a couple of occasions — notably just missing the target with a spectacular overhead kick in the second-half — but saw his first league start end goalless.

"Muniz had some moments, some not so good," admitted Silva. "He's a young boy, but hungry to learn and improve. We know he can score if our game out wide is good enough. He did everything and tried everything, and we go again."

On Mitrovic's absence

Just five of Fulham's 21 shots were directed on target — what was clear to all at Craven Cottage was that the hosts were sorely missing their talismanic arch marksman Mitrovic, the man who would usually always provide the finishing touch to Silva's possession-based style of play.

However, the head coach was blunt in his assessment of whether or not the Serbian's absence was the deciding factor in the result.

"Of course, Mitrovic is an important player, but his absence is not why we didn't win this game."

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