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Marco Silva keen to instil winning mentality throughout entire squad

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

Marco Silva says he is trying to build a winning mentality throughout his entire Fulham squad after his much-changed side reached the third round of the Carabao Cup with a 2-0 win at Birmingham.

Jay Stansfield’s 26th-minute goal on his full debut and one from his replacement Antonee Robinson in time added on gave the Cottagers a routine victory to secure their spot in tomorrow night’s draw.

The win was Fulham’s fourth in a row and continued the unbeaten start for the Sky Bet Championship leaders, even allowing for 10 changes.

“I said to the players before the match that since we started the season we are creating something and we want to finish matches with a winning feeling and that winning mentality is really important,” said Silva.

“We were unbeaten in pre-season and it was really important to keep that momentum.

“I saw our team being serious in a different competition – all of the players involved showed big commitment and that was the main thing for me.”

Birmingham failed to trouble goalkeeper Marek Rodak but head coach Lee Bowyer was optimistic after also making 10 changes.

Former Fulham goalkeeper Neil Etheridge returned for his first game of the season after suffering badly with Covid-19, while on-loan Wolves defender Dion Sanderson impressed on his debut.

“I’m disappointed because we lost and we’re out of the cup, but I think there were a lot of positives for those lads playing against players who were in the Premier League last season,” said Bowyer.

“Neil is rusty and is still playing catch-up – he and Dion could have played in the under-23s but I thought if they could have played in that, why can’t they play in this?

“Then we had Jordan Graham playing against Denis Odoi, who’s a top defender. These are the challenges they need to see and have.”