Albion started the season going head-to-head with the Cottagers for first place in the league but as Silva’s side stayed their course, the Baggies drifted further and further away from their ultimate goal.
“Nothing surprises me in this competition to be honest as it’s really tough but of course if you asked me if I would expect them to be in a different position right now, definitely yes,” the Fulham boss told fulhamfc.com.
“They started really well but then had a bad run and it’s been difficult for them to get on the right track. But we know that they keep believing.
“What they showed in the last 15 minutes against Huddersfield in their last game is that they keep believing, keep fighting to be in a position to be promoted.
“There are many games to play, many points ahead, and they are there, they are fighting.
“Of course they’re not in the position they want to be and all of us expected, but nothing’s finished yet.”
Silva was as you’d expect very respectful of Albion when discussing the threat they pose and despite the huge gap that has opened up between the two, the Portuguese manager is still fully anticipating a tough clash.
The 44-year-old also claims there is a certain way his side can simply not give Albion any chance of playing.
“We know the way they normally like to approach the game, they’re a physical team, they try to press every time,” he added.
“We hope the pitch is in a good condition for both teams to play football, I’m sure it will be a proper football pitch.
“It will be a tough match, hopefully we can play at our best level with full confidence in ourselves, but we know we are playing against a physical team.
“They go to win every challenge, they try to be really strong in every challenge. All the set-pieces, long throw-ins, they are the type of physical team that even if they are not playing well or commanding the game, they can create problems for you in these type of situations.
“What we have to do is play our game, we have to use the ball in the right way, take the ball from them, don’t let them play a direct game, and be strong in the first and second balls.
“And, after, we have to express ourselves, play with the right intensity, the right mobility as well, because we know if we do that it will be tough for them.”
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