Fulham head coach Marco Silva admitted that it would only be a “special season” for his side – stunning 7-0 winners at Reading – if it ended with promotion from the Championship back to the Premier League.
The west London side were a shade fortunate to be 2-0 ahead at half-time through a goal from Harry Wilson and an Aleksandar Mitrovic penalty.
But as Reading collapsed after the break, Fulham scored give more goals through Wilson, Kenny Tete, Neeskens Kabano, Tosin Adarabioyo and Mitrovic.
“It will be a special season if you get success at the end of it,” Silva said. “If we get that success, of course it will be special. For us and our fans. Until then, we don’t win nothing.
“In the Championship, in this competition, everything can change so quickly.
“Sometimes we have deserved points, sometimes we didn’t get them. But this allows us to regroup again. I’m very pleased with it.
“It was a very good result for us and it was a very good performance. It was for our players and for our fans as well.
“There were some good goals by us and, of course, none conceded. It was a happy night for us.
“We had a better second half than the first half. In the first, we had some moments when we didn’t control the game like we wanted.
“In the second, we had better control from the back. We played more to our abilities, created the chances and scored some good goals.
“We were was also good from set-pieces, which we had prepared with the players.
“We wanted to respond for ourselves and our fans.”
It was Reading’s heaviest-ever home league defeat, coming three days after their embarrassing 2-1 loss to National League North outfit Kidderminster in their FA Cup third-round tie at the weekend.
Reading manager Veljko Paunovic could not confirm that he would be in charge for the next game at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
“Will I be in charge?” Paunovic said. “I can’t answer that question. This was just a horrible night for us, another horrible night.
“It has come at a difficult moment for us. We had a setback with our early injury [to Scott Dann, who was replaced].
“That changed our whole game, our whole approach and our whole shape.
“From having a trusted line-up, without Scott we had to do a lot of reshuffling. People had to play in positions that they would not do normally.
“With all that, we needed to adjust pretty quickly. But then we conceded the first goal, which was really avoidable. And the penalty kick, that was also avoidable.
”But I still have belief in this group. And I do believe in miracles.”