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Marco Silva hails hat-trick hero Aleksandar Mitrovic

Fulham v Swansea City – Sky Bet Championship – Craven Cottage
(Image credit: John Walton)

Marco Silva heaped praise on Aleksandar Mitrovic after the striker hit a first half hat-trick in Fulham’s 3-1 win over Swansea at Craven Cottage.

Mitrovic took his season tally to 10 goals in 10 league games with three clinical finishes which put the Cottagers on course for victory before the break.

But Fulham boss Silva also insisted the Serbia striker’s performance was also a reflection of his team-mates’s efforts.

Silva said: “For Mitro to score three goals means he had a very good night. But the way we put the ball for him to score was really good.

“No striker in the world can score if the team doesn’t set it up for him and we played well for him to score.

“That is why he is here with us, that is why we renewed his contract and that id why he is playing every time because he is player that knows the competition really well.

“He’s not just important because he can score. He is a key player in the way we like to play. And of course he can score in the box.

“Since the first day he has been happy. He is on the same page as the others. When the team wins he is happy like the others. When the team loses he is unhappy like the others.

“Like all of us he is working hard to be successful at the end of the season.”

Silva added: “I’m definitely happy with the result. I thought we were very good, especially in the first half.”

Mitrovic put Fulham ahead in 12th minute although Swansea manager Russell Martin insisted the forward was offside.

The second goal came in the 32nd minute and Mitrovic added the third in the 45th minute after Jamie Paterson replied in the 48th minute.

Martin said:  ‘I’m really disappointed we lost but I find it hard to be disappointed with the performance.

“I’m really proud of the players.  We went toe to toe with the best team in the division.

“We had some great moments, sometimes you have to accept when they are playing with really high quality and two of their goals were really high quality.

“And the guy finishes it off is deadly and one of the best strikers in the division, if not the best.

“But the first goal is tough to take. We work on trying to get out of the box and he is offside. It’s a mistake.

“I loved our performance in the second half. We showed real courage. We had a massive chance but what we we lacked was that bit of confidence, that bit of swagger which is what they had.

“But we looked a really good team for long periods.”