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Marco Silva frustrated by dropped points but says Fulham will get stronger

Southampton v Everton – Premier League – St Mary’s Stadium
(Image credit: Mark Kerton)

Fulham manager Marco Silva was frustrated not to see his team take all three points from the 1-1 draw at home to Middlesbrough, his first match in charge.

However, the former Hull, Watford and Everton manager denied that the physicality of the Sky Bet Championship had been a shock to him after the Craven Cottage stalemate.

It looked as though Harry Wilson’s goal after 29 minutes of his debut, following his £12million move from Liverpool, would be enough to give Silva a winning start.

However, a dogged Middlesbrough battled to stay in the game and Marc Bola scored his second league goal for the club to equalise 13 minutes from time.

Substitute Marcus Tavernier could even have won it for the visitors – but he blazed a late chance wide.

However, Silva saw nothing that surprised or dismayed him. He said afterwards: “We have players out and in some weeks our team will be stronger and for sure we will be different.

“The physicality of the championship? The games are always in this way. But it is up to you decide what style you want to play and to answer what your opponents do, We have enough players who know what playing in the Championship means.

“Of course there was frustration that we didn’t get the result that we wanted and that I believe we deserved.

“At this level when you have chances to be more clinical and kill the game you can be comfortable. We had chances and we were dominant. The goal was a good example. We should score the second goal – but that is football.”

Boro boss Neil Warnock was understandably delighted with his side’s comeback against one of the favourites for promotion.

He said: “Let’s be honest, (Fulham) are a good squad and have good players who weren’t even in the squad, so anyone who finishes above them will get promotion.

“We couldn’t be open and had to hang in there but the subs did well and the fresh legs and the bit of movement we had gave us a bit more.

“In the end I think we were unlucky not to win it – but in fairness they (Fulham) deserved to get a result out of it.”

Warnock praised the collective effort that kept his side in the game, adding: “That is where we come into our own.

“Fulham have individuals far better than us but as a team I think we showed that togetherness and desire that will stand us in good stead and which you need in the Championship. So I’m delighted.”

Argentinian midfielder Martin Pajero was not called upon to make his debut and Warnock explained. “I didn’t think it was a game for Pajero to come into. I’ll see how he goes in the (EFL) Cup at Blackpool in midweek.”