Marco Silva says he can draw similarities between the job he is doing at Fulham and that at Portuguese minnows Estoril at the very start of his career.
Silva transitioned from player to manager at Estoril in 2011, and in his first season in charge won promotion as champions to the Portuguese top-flight before guiding the club to Europa League qualification in back-to-back seasons.
The 45-year-old took over at Craven Cottage at the start of last season, going on to win the Championship and promotion to the Premier League, and has the Whites competing for a shock place in Europe next season.Embed from Getty Images
And Silva, having had spells at the likes of Sporting Lisbon, Olympiacos and Everton since leaving Estoril, says his current role resembles his very first managerial job 12 years ago.
“I think it is unfair to compare (to Estoril) but there are some similarities I have to say,” he said.
“The way we started from the lower division, with the title and promotion.
“I agree in certain points, but of course it is a completely different competition. The quality of the competition is more difficult.
“I am really proud to be fighting for something important at this football club. I think we are doing something really, really good.”
Silva has remained adamant that Fulham’s target of remaining in the Premier League this season has not changed despite significantly exceeding expectations, with a chance to make it five league games in a row unbeaten tomorrow against west London rivals Brentford.
And while Silva would welcome a repeat of the job he did at Estoril, he knows it will not be easy to guide Fulham to European qualification despite acknowledging that he is a much better manager now than he was back then.
“I have to be different right now from when I started my career as a manager,” he added.
“I want to always be better, it’s what I demand from me and not only me, my staff as well. With more maturity you can grow as a manager and that’s what I demand from myself.
“Some things you can feel are similar (to Estoril), but just until now. We do not know what will happen in the future.”