Marco Silva: Fulham belong in Premier League, says boss after sealing promotion

Fulham celebrate
Fulham have now been promoted in each of their past three Championship campaigns

Fulham are "back where they belong" in the Premier League after securing promotion back to the top flight, says head coach Marco Silva.

Victory over Preston was enough to ensure the leaders could not be caught by anyone below second-placed Bournemouth in the Championship.

Two goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic, either side of a Fabio Carvalho strike, got the job done.

"It feels fantastic to get this club back where it belongs," Silva said.

He told BBC Radio London: "Ourselves, we enjoyed it but the way we make the fans proud of us is fantastic and I have to say I'm proud of our players because from the first day they have worked really hard."

Silva said his staff would enjoy the night but focus will quickly switch to the challenge ahead.

"It will be a huge challenge for us but we have to do the right things to prepare," he said.

"When you achieve something so important early in the season, that gives you time to prepare in the right way and we have to do that."

'Mitrovic can score goals at top level'

Fulham celebrate
Serbia striker Mitrovic has previously struggled to bring his goalscoring exploits into the Premier League

Mitrovic's second goal of the night was his 40th this season and he has eclipsed the Championship record of 31 set by Ivan Toney last season.

Veteran centre-back Tim Ream said the team were a "different animal" to the one relegated under Scott Parker two seasons ago and he believes Mitrovic, 27, is ready to have a big impact at the top level.

"We all believe he can [score goals] and that's all that matters," the 34-year-old told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"He believes he can and Marco believes he can, when you have the belief of your manager anything is possible

"We know what makes him score goals and the service he gets so let's see - he did it in the first year, he had 11 goals in a team that got relegated which is pretty good."

Fulham's play-off final matchwinner of two seasons ago, Joe Bryan, said the team should "take stock" of what they have achieved this season.

"It's very hard to come down from the Premier League and try to instil a different mindset and training method and go straight up, we've got a very, very good squad," he told BBC Radio London.

Fulham can all but seal the Championship title with victory away at Bournemouth in their next match on Saturday.

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