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Fulham boss Marco Silva knows they will be facing a completely different animal when they head to Aston Villa.

The Cottagers thumped Villa 3-0 at home in October in what proved to be Steven Gerrard’s final game in charge.

Since then, Unai Emery has guided Villa into European contention and they have won seven and drawn two of their last nine matches.

“They showed a reaction straight away after that match,” said Silva.

“Of course, Unai is doing a very good job. He is a great manager.

“Everyone knew, when the season started, the quality they have and what they want to fight for. You could feel during the summer with the type of players they signed as well, what they really wanted to fight for.

“They did not have a good spell in the beginning of the season, and after that came a reaction. They have very good players and they are very well managed by Unai.

“They are playing a different system and you can see they are much more confident right now.

“I think the results help them to be much more confident and some players are in a very good moment of form, clearly.

“They are strong, playing at home you know the type of atmosphere we are going to face at Villa Park, but it will be a good game for us as well because we will be able to challenge – and we like this type of challenge.”

Despite Villa’s fine form, Silva insists Fulham will stick to the game plan which has lifted them into the European mix as well.

“No, it will not be out of the window, because we have an idea and we are not going to change anything from our idea because we are going to face Villa, or a different Villa,” he added.

“That’s not the way we approach the games. The Fulham you saw that evening, without some players that are important for us, the idea was there and it will not change.

“Of course, Villa will adjust some things because they are going to play against us, we are going to adjust some things because we are going to play against Villa.

“We’ll analyse them, we know they play slightly different. These are the things that we have to adjust. But we will not change anything because we are always trusting in our process.

“We’ll be the same Fulham, trying to play in the same way, of course facing a different Villa because they are in a different moment. They are probably in the best moment of their season, and of course we have to adjust some things.”