Fulham boss demands club now ‘show the money’ – Aleksandar Mitrovic at the top of his list
What a three months for Aleksandar Mitrovic.
His loan spell at Fulham has produced 15 wins, three draws, and only two defeats.
No wonder the Cottagers are desperate to sign him on a permanent deal.
The 15th Mitro win for Fulham came at Wembley, the West London team streets ahead of Villa in terms of ability and style of football.
Once Cairney scored after 23 minutes the outcome rarely looked in doubt.
Fulham had dominated the opening quarter and fully deserved the lead.
A red card for Odoi with 20 minutes remaining gave Villa some late encouragement but the Fulham keeper never really had a save to make.
The 12 goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic were key to Fulham’s excellent late run to third place and whilst he managed no goals in any of the three play-off matches, he played his part in all of the games.
Now of course thoughts will turn to the transfer market and with promotion now secured, the Fulham manager has demanded that the club’s owner shows ambition, saying ‘we’re going to need to show the money too.’
Jokanovic has already repeatedly made clear that he wants to sign Mitro on a permanent deal and will surely want to try and get the deal done ASAP, to head off competition from elsewhere.
With his Fulham form having raised the Serbian striker’s profile, Fulham will surely need to offer in the region of £15m to £20m if they are going to keep the Newcastle loan forward.
“We have shown we are one of the best Championship teams.
“We showed we can be solid, organised and work altogether for a clean sheet.
“The last 20 minutes [playing with 10 men] all we were thinking about was not conceding.
“This is a really important victory for us and we deserved it.
“It’s not easy to play at Wembley, there is a lot of pressure.
“We know what is ahead of us.
“The Premier League is the best and most competitive league, and we must be clever.
“One important improvement is now finished, and now we must show ambition to be a Premier League team.
“To show the ambition, we’re going to need to show the money too.
“We believe we can play this way but we must know what characteristics of players we need.
“In general we must try to dominate against some teams that we believe we can dominate against and be realistic [against others].
“We must know what our plan is and what are the characteristics of the players we need for the future.”
Steve Claridge talking to BBC Sport:
“(At Half-time) Fulham are playing more how we’d expect them to play.
“Villa have one up front in Lewis Grabban but their wingers are more worried about Fulham than going forward.
“To say Grabban is isolated is an understatement.
“They look like they’re waiting to make a change but they’ll never get back into it this way.
“They need to be more positive.
“(70 minutes in) I think the red card was a little bit harsh.
“I think the first one was one where the referee saw the challenge but not if Denis Odoi got the ball – but the second (yellow) one was a ridiculous challenge, not the kind of challenge you should make.
“(after final minute) You have to say, overall, Fulham have deserved this.
“Certainly when it was 11 v 11 they had the majority of the best chances and have certainly negated Villa since the sending off.”
“Villa took a half to get going.
“I don’t quite know what the game plan was – for 45 minutes, they were tepid in the extreme.
“Then they pushed the widemen on and created more opportunities, but even in those periods, Fulham were still the better team.
“Fulham stuck together in what was a bitty game. They did enough to see it out in a game littered with mistakes.”
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