Marco Silva hailed Gylfi Sigurdsson’s “fantastic character” after the Everton striker rebounded from a disappointing penalty miss to fire his side to their first Premier League win in four games.
Silva looked set for more frustration when Sigurdsson blasted his 52nd-minute spot-kick against the bar but less than four minutes later he atoned by sweeping the opener from the edge of the box.
Substitute Cenk Tosun headed Everton’s second from point-blank range 10 minutes later before Sigurdsson wrapped up a 3-0 win by drilling another low effort in the 89th minute.
Silva said: “He (Sigurdsson) showed fantastic character and personality after he missed the penalty. He works every day to achieve something and I thought the football was fair with him today.”
Silva admitted he laid down the law after a disappointing first period in which the visitors ought to have taken the lead when Ryan Sessegnon rattled the underside of the bar from a tight angle.
With frustration mounting, only Brazilian Richarlison posed a consistent threat to the visitors’ back line until Sigurdsson’s belated opener finally paved the way to a convincing win.
Silva said: “I told them we have to do it in a different way. We have to be more aggressive and we have to be more clear about what we are doing.
“We have have to take different decisions and be a little bit more calm when we have the ball, and when we are attacking.
“Of course the three points was the most important thing but the clean sheet was also something we were working on to build confidence as a team.
“I’m really happy. I told the boys what my feelings were in the dressing room. It was an important result for us but it was only three points, and now we must start preparing for the next game in the normal way.”
Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic admitted his side face a race against time to adapt to the top-flight after another defeat which suggests a relegation struggle could be on the cards.
Jokanovic said: “They (Everton) didn’t do something fantastic or the perfect game from their point of view but with a bit more skill and power they easily scored three goals.
“We must understand where we are and that we could pay a really expensive price if we don’t adapt ourselves to this.
“We are a seven games-old Premier League team and we showed some quality – we were brave and tried to follow our style.
“I can find both positives and negatives from today’s game. We are in a kind of growing-up process. There is big room for improvement and we need to be more brave and more consistent and do everything to find a faster improvement.”
To add to Jokanovic’s woes, he revealed midfielder Joe Bryan is likely to be ruled out for a number of weeks after picking up a hamstring strain, while Timothy Fonsue-Mensah faces tests on a shoulder injury which forced him off.
Jokanovic added: “Joe has a hamstring problem and will probably be a few weeks outside the squad. Tim has some kind of shoulder problem but we haven’t assessed him yet.”