Marco Silva admits Fulham did not turn up in first half of defeat at West Brom

West Bromwich Albion v Fulham – Sky Bet Championship – The Hawthorns
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Fulham head coach Marco Silva admitted his team did not turn up in the first half as the runaway Championship leaders lost 1-0 at West Brom – but insisted complacency is not a problem.

The Cottagers remain 11 points clear at the top of the table but could not produce an effort on target as they failed to score for the first time in 14 league games going back to December 20.

“It was not good enough. In the first half we were not here – it was just our shirts on the pitch,” said Silva.

“I don’t want to be unfair on West Brom because they were the best team and they deserved to win.

“We didn’t express ourselves, and they did what we expected. Marek (Rodak) kept us in the game.

“In the second half it was a little bit different. We had a big chance with Mitro (Aleksandar Mitrovic) where we should have equalised.”

Silva insisted his players do not think they have already clinched automatic promotion.

“I don’t believe the job is done,” he said. “I’m sure the players are not thinking this way.”

West Brom manager Steve Bruce believes a play-off place could still be within their grasp – but said Saturday’s trip to Bristol City is a must-win game.

The Baggies are 12th and six points off sixth place.

“We’ve taken seven points out of nine and now the pressure is on all of us at Bristol City on Saturday. Can we repeat that performance? Who knows?” said Bruce.

“There are probably too many teams chasing but we have to win at Bristol on Saturday before the international break.”

Bruce believes the recent 2-0 home defeat to Swansea could have been a turning point.

“There have been a few harsh truths spoken. It was not acceptable and I think they realised that too with the performance against Swansea,” he added.

“You can get beaten but it’s the manner of it that counts and since then it’s been better. Maybe that was the low point. I hope it is anyway.”

West Brom were excellent value for their victory. In a dominant first half, Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak denied Karlan Grant and Callum Robinson.

The only goal came in the 63rd minute. Antonee Robinson carelessly gave the ball away to Grant, who threaded Callum Robinson through to slot past Rodak from a tight angle.

Just before the goal, Fulham had their first real chance as Harry Wilson curled fractionally wide from just inside the box.

After it, Aleksandar Mitrovic fired wide for the visitors, but it was not Fulham’s night.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1