Marco Silva has his eye on fresh faces through the door in the January transfer window, but the Fulham boss is not naming his targets ahead of a Premier League trip to face Leicester City this week.
The Cottagers have been among the surprise packages this season in the top-flight, stringing together a number of impressive performances to position themselves on the edge of the European race.
The need to add fresh faces is on the agenda for the club, but Silva is not talking up specific men yet,
“It will be the same always, I will not comment about players that are not our players,” he said. “We are trying to strengthen the squad in some positions, but I have to repeat again the main ones are here, the most important ones are here with us.
“They have been working really hard, they are following our ideas every single day and this is the main thing for us. Of course we are looking for something, we are trying, but let’s see if we can do it.”
Silva warned off suitors for Aleksandar Mitrovic while sidestepping questions over whether Leeds will recall Dan James.
“We are really pleased to have him. Since I joined the club he is really happy here as well,” Silva said of Mitrovic. “We are in the beginning or the middle of a process and some positions are impossible for us to change.
“James is still adapting in our football club. Until now we didn’t speak about this possibility. We signed him on loan for the season but from yesterday the market opened and many things can happen, but there is no news.”
Opposite number Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, feels his side are improving despite a self-inflicted defeat to Liverpool and hopes they can march back up the table sooner rather than later.
“Performance-wise, against Liverpool, (it) was much better,” he added. “Our target now in 2023 is (whether) we (can) get into that top 10, in the earliest part of the year we can. When you’re in there you can strive to kick on. Plus we have the cups.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leicester City – Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall
After nabbing the Foxes’ opener against Liverpool, the midfielder will be hoping to deliver a key intervention once again this week. He has played every Premier League game for them this season and will be out to post another crucial performance.
Fulham – Aleksandar Mitrovic
The Serbia international has scored four goals in his last five away Premier League appearances. Meanwhile, only one Fulham player has ever ended on the winning side in four consecutive away Premier League appearances, with Diomansy Kamara doing so between April 2008 and April 2009.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Having won none of their first five Premier League meetings with Fulham (D3 L2), Leicester City have now won two of their last three against them (L1).
– Fulham won 2-1 at Leicester in their last league visit to the King Power Stadium, last winning consecutive away league games against the Foxes in September 1967.
– Leicester City lost 2-1 at Bournemouth in October, ending a run of nine consecutive Premier League victories against promoted sides. They last lost consecutive such matches in November 2020/January 2021, one of which was a home defeat to Fulham; the other was against Leeds United.
– Leicester City have lost their first league game in just one of the last 14 calendar years (W9 D4), though it was a 3-2 loss against Tottenham in 2022.
– Fulham won 7-0 at Reading in their first league game of 2022, last winning their opening match in consecutive calendar years between 2012 and 2014 (a run of three).