Scott Parker on Aleksandar Mitrovic ahead of Leeds United test and doubters writing Fulham off

BOSS Scott Parker admits he is looking for his Fulham side to help Aleksandar Mitrovic in the goals stakes ahead of today’s clash against Leeds United at Elland Road.

By Lee Sobot
Saturday, 19th September 2020, 5:50 am

Mitrovic topped last season's Championship goalscoring charts by netting 26 times as Fulham were promoted via the play-offs with former Leeds youngster Tom Cairney the Cottagers' second top scorer with eight.

Having only recently returned from international duty with Serbia, Mitrovic only made the bench for Fulham's Premier League opener at home to Arsenal last weekend and came on in the 63rd minute as the Cottagers fell to a 3-0 defeat.

The 26-year-old then played the full 90 minutes of Wednesday night's Carabao Cup clash at Ipswich Town and bagged the only goal of the game.

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CENTRAL FIGURE: Fulham boss Scott Parker brings on Aleksandar Mitrovic in the 3-0 loss at home to Arsenal with the striker having had just two Cottagers training sessions after international duty. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images.

The forward netted over a third of Fuham's 64 league goals last season but whilst seeking more contributions from out wide, Cottagers boss Parker says every side naturally relies on a target man upfront.

"I'm not over-concerned," said Parker to ahead of today's Premier League clash at Elland Road.

"For sure goals need to come from all over the pitch and I think we need to get that from our midfield, from our wide areas of course.

"There's always a central figure and Mitro is that guy for us and was last year and I'm sure he's going to be that player this year.

"All over the pitch we need to add more goals and is something we can improve on from last year.

"Mitro scored a lot of goals for us last year. No doubt he will be pivotal to what we will do this year.

"That's what is expected of him. Elsewhere we need to add goals, it's something we needed to add last year.

"We need not to be so reliant on him and help out all over the pitch."

Asked if he was using the fact that many people were already writing Fulham off following their Gunners loss as motivation, Parker said: "Not really.

"I'm a realist and I understand where we are and the world we live and what surrounds football is a lot of talk and a lot of where is the next story, that's what people want to here.

"I find it quite sad at times but we've played one match in the Premier League and there's an awful lot still to play.

"We played against a very good Arsenal team that have an abundance quality.

"We're a team that has just been promoted and of course we're going to struggle against Arsenal.

"I'm not going to take too much notice and nor will my players.

"We'll keep the noise to a minimum and what we can control is what we take in and listen to.

"We have a goal this year and along the way we need to understand we will have a lot of bumps this year and we need to stick together.

"I can't control what people say, what people write, I understand this is the world we live in."

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Thank you Laura Collins