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Marco Silva using Carabao Cup exit at Crawley last term as motivation for Fulham

Marco Silva is aiming to manage at Wembley for the first time. (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Marco Silva is aiming to manage at Wembley for the first time. (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Marco Silva has revealed last season’s embarrassing Carabao Cup exit to Crawley has spurred Fulham onto the semi-finals this year.

The Cottagers host Liverpool on Wednesday night trailing 2-1 on aggregate as they aim to reach a first major domestic cup final since 1975.

Silva’s side led at Anfield in the first leg before conceding twice in three minutes to find themselves as outsiders to down Liverpool and reach Wembley.

Fulham’s Willian had given his side the lead in the first-leg defeat at Liverpool
Fulham’s Willian had given his side the lead in the first-leg defeat at Liverpool. (Peter Byrne/PA)

The journey is a far cry from their 2-0 loss to Crawley in the second round last August, where Silva made 10 changes from their previous Premier League game.

“My ambition is to always play cup competitions and go further,” Silva said on the eve of the tie.

“Last season we were promoted and we played in the quarter-final of the FA Cup and our aim was always to go further – of course it’s important to recognise that the Premier League was the main thing.

“But at the same time, when we played the other competitions we were trying to be strong enough – the first game in the Carabao was really poor last season.

Crawley Town fans celebrate on the pitch at the end of the Carabao Cup second round win over Fulham
Crawley Town fans celebrate on the pitch at the end of the Carabao Cup second round win over Fulham. (Steve Paston/PA)

“It was a good moment to speak with the players about what I demand from them and what we demand from any competitions that you play in the future.”

Silva has taken charge of 229 games in England across spells at Hull, Watford, Everton and Fulham.

The 46-year-old also reached the Greek Cup final with Olympiacos in 2016, having won the Taca de Portugal with Sporting the season before.

But he admits the visit of Liverpool and the potential for a first-ever game as a manager at Wembley means Wednesday is one of the biggest nights of his managerial career in England.

“It is one of them, yes,” he replied. “I did play a (League Cup) semi-final with Hull City as well against Manchester United but, if you ask me right now, I would prefer to have another more important one in one month’s time or two months’ time.”