Fulham manager Scott Parker will have top goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic available for their Championship play-off final with Brentford on Tuesday.

The Serbian missed both semi-final legs against Cardiff with a hamstring injury, but has returned to training and is available for selection as the Cottagers look to secure a Premier League return.

Mitrovic scored 26 times in the Championship this season, the same as Brentford’s Ollie Watkins, but clinched the golden boot ahead of his local rival after playing fewer minutes.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

“Aleksandar is fit, so we will make our decision on him,” Fulham boss Parker said. “I have a full squad to pick from, so it is now down to me to work out the best dynamics to obviously try and win the football match.”

Parker is no stranger to Wembley and captained England there eight years ago against Holland, but he is proud to have taken Fulham back to the venue in his first full season as a manager.

The former Fulham midfielder does not believe his squad will be distracted by the occasion as they look to secure promotion, however.

“I am excited, there is an excitement about me and I am looking forward to the game and I am very proud,” Parker said. “Of course I have been at the football club for a long time, as a player and now in my first full season of leading the club and the team to this point so I’m very proud.

“Ultimately how I look at it is very single-minded and very focused on what is ahead. It is another football match and my experiences have taught me that all the noise and everything else that comes with big games is exactly that – just noise.

“We have a real laser focus about us and understand the job at hand and what we need to do and I feel we are in a good place to do that.”

Brentford’s ‘BMW’ strike force of Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Watkins have contributed 59 goals during the campaign, which is only five fewer than Parker’s whole team were able to manage.

“Going forward they are a real threat, we have seen that with the front three players scoring a lot of goals so of course we understand that,” Parker said.

“Like I’ve said many times before, we concentrate on ourselves and how we can hurt and try and punish Brentford and their flaws. We are playing against an extremely organised team who have done extremely well this year and there will be challenges, but I also suspect Brentford will have some challenges and hopefully they will be greater than the challenges they cause us.”

In addition to promotion, bragging rights will be up for grabs, and while Fulham lost twice to Brentford this season, they did finish level on points with the Griffin Park outfit.

“It’s amazing to think we get to the 49th game of the season and it comes down to a west London derby – it probably adds a little more,” Parker said.

“Even as big as the game is, it is a London derby now as well so two teams who have done fantastically well this year, separated by goal difference in the league – and hopefully it will be a very good game.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Former NFL quarterback Tarvaris Jackson dies in car crash

Former National Football League quarter-back Tarvaris Jackson has died after being involved in a car accident on Sunday night, aged 36. The ex-Seattle Seahawks player was reportedly involved in a crash in Alabama, according to US media outlet TMZ. The…

‘La Bundesliga’ takes Argentina by storm 3m ago

Where does a proud football nation turn after the pause button was pushed on the top domestic league following the match between Rosario Central and Colon on March 16? A football nation that is so fanatical that the Copa Libertadores…

Construction for Winter Olympics enters final phase

The construction of infrastructure supporting the 2022 Winter Olympics has entered its final stretch in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, which will host most of the Games’ snow events. As of Tuesday, construction of six of the 10 transport facilities to serve…

Deliveryman Zhang’s right on time

Hardworking Beijing-based brawler bidding to chuck his scooter for world-title shot, as Xinhua reports After delivering his last food order of the night, Zhang Fangyong removes his yellow Meituan uniform, puts on his gloves and shadowboxes tirelessly in front of…