Marco Silva: Fulham had to be resilient to claim a deserved win

Cardiff City v Fulham – Sky Bet Championship – Cardiff City Stadium
(Image credit: David Davies)

Fulham manager Marco Silva praised the resilience of his Sky Bet Championship leaders after they dug out a 1-0 win at Cardiff.

Aleksandar Mitrovic extended his record as the league’s top goalscorer with his 34th of the campaign and that proved enough to claim all three points.

An eighth win in 10 league games keeps the Cottagers nine points clear of Bournemouth in the race for the title and promotion to the Premier League.

Silva said: “As we expected it was tough, it is always hard to come here and play and we had to be resilient.

“We knew what type of game it would be. We always expect first and second balls and balls in our box.

“Apart from one moment when we slept completely, we dealt really well with the situation.

“We controlled big parts of the match. We were a bit slower than I wanted but we created enough, we were the best team and deserved the three points.”

Cardiff’s squad had been hit with a stomach bug in the build-up to the match but they should have taken the lead as early as the 13th minute.

James Collins raced clear onto Alex Smithies’ goal-kick but could not find the net when one-on-one with Fulham keeper Marek Rodak.

Cardiff would regret missing that chance when Mitrovic headed in Harry Wilson’s cross shortly before half-time.

Silva added: “We had chances to kill the game early in the second half but we didn’t take them and that gave them (Cardiff) belief.

“But we continued until the end and deserved three points.

“We haven’t achieved anything yet, you achieve nothing at the end of February. We go again next week.”

It was a spirted effort from the illness-hit hosts but nevertheless they slipped to 20th in the table and have only one win in their last four.

Boss Steve Morrison said: “It was one of the toughest 24 hours I’ve had as a manager. It was an absolute nightmare.

“It started yesterday (Friday) after training and the team changed three of four times up until 1.20pm.

“But with all of that going on, to perform like we did shows how tight we are as a group.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my players, I thought we were fantastic.

“We went toe-to-toe with the best team in the league and limited them to the least amount of shots they have managed this season.

“In the end, they scored from their chance and we didn’t. Mitrovic got free from a well-worked corner, he had one moment and he scored. That’s why he’s top of the league.

“But if we keep performing like that, we will be fine.”

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