The striker scored his 12th goal of the season.

Scott Parker describes Aleksandar Mitrovic as "an absolute animal"

read Scott Parker describes Aleksandar Mitrovic as "an absolute animal"

news Scott Parker describes Aleksandar Mitrovic as "an absolute animal"

Info Scott Parker describes Aleksandar Mitrovic as "an absolute animal"

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about Scott Parker describes Aleksandar Mitrovic as "an absolute animal"
  • 2019-11-10 03:05:50 3 days ago
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Fulham manager Scott Parker branded Aleksandar Mitrovic an "animal" and saluted his side's character after they returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory at Birmingham.

Mitrovic's 12th goal of the season silenced the Birmingham boo-boys and moved the Cottagers up to sixth.

The Serbian striker, who had an effort disallowed and was booked for his part in a flare-up with Jude Bellingham, hooked home in the 52nd minute after Birmingham goalkeeper Lee Camp dropped substitute Cyrus Christie's cross.

Parker was delighted with the contribution of Mitrovic.

"He looks like an absolute animal, chasing things down, and if that is the base, the goals will come," he said.

"That's what we want from him; he is the talisman, the guy everyone looks to and the pressure is on him. He needs to understand what he gives to the team.

"For all his goals, for everything that goes round him, all I ask of him is forget the goals, just go and turn up and be the Mitrovic he can be."

Parker was also delighted with the character of his team after they bounced back from a 3-0 home defeat to Hull last week.

"We came here and showed real character in tough conditions and were worthy winners," he added.

"First and foremost you must show character, desire and passion and if you have that, you will be all right, because there's no doubt we have technical, gifted players."

Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak made superb saves from striker Lukas Jutkiewicz's point-blank header, Kristian Pedersen's early angled drive and Fran Villalba's flick as Blues were sentenced to a second successive defeat.

Blues caretaker head coach Pep Clotet felt his team was hard done by.

He said: "We had 16 shots, they had 10, we had four shots on target, they had three and from these three, two were valid, because I think the goal is a blatant foul on Marc Roberts.

"Mitrovic never wanted to head that cross – he thought the keeper was going to catch it and he just bashes against Marc Roberts who had the position won.

"Roberts was sent three yards outside then the ball dropped to Mitrovic, who was in that position thanks to a foul, so it's a clear foul.

"But those are margins. We had very clear chances as well that we should have scored.

"I thought we had everything there to have secured points, if not three then one."

But the visitors could have made it 2-0 at the death when substitute Aboubakar Kamara's shot hit the inside of the post on the break.

Fulham were denied by the offside flag in the 14th minute when Mitrovic pounced after Camp dropped Bobby Reid's shot.

There was a flashpoint off the ball at the end of the first half after Anthony Knockaert landed on Bellingham, apparently splitting the Birmingham midfielder's lip.

Mitrovic and Bellingham then shared a heated exchange and both players were booked.

Parker said: "I just see it as heat of the moment, and they just squared up – it's handbags really."

Clotet said: "It was normal emotions in the game – I don't think much happened. I don't know what Jude was booked for."

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Scott Parker describes Aleksandar Mitrovic as "an absolute animal"

Steve Cooper admits "a little bit of relief" after Swans salvage late draw

Swansea boss Steve Cooper was relieved after his side extended their unbeaten Sky Bet Championship away record with a late 2-2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

Andre Ayew gave the visitors a first-half lead but Wednesday finally equalised through substitute Fernando Forestieri in the 81st minute after hitting the woodwork three times.

The Owls thought they had won it when Morgan Fox put them ahead but Ben Wilmot struck at the death to level.

Swansea are now unbeaten in 10 league games away from home and Cooper admitted he was happy to leave Yorkshire with a point.

Cooper said: "I guess there's a little bit of relief, having gone 2-1 down and thinking the last thing we deserved was not to get a win today.

"It's a difficult place to come and I thought Sheffield Wednesday started the better. They're a real threat with the way that they play, but we managed the storm and then just completely controlled the game in the first half.

"You just want to see the game out but we conceded a couple of soft goals from our point of view.

"I'm just pleased that we didn't lose because it would have been a travesty after the way we played.

"In the end, we're quite pleased that we got a point but we created some really good chances. We're having to work hard for every point."

Jacob Murphy saw his early effort saved by Freddie Woodman, who pushed the ball onto his left-hand post.

Steven Fletcher then headed against Woodman's left-hand post.

Swansea took the lead against the run of play when keeper Keiren Westwood failed to deal with a Matt Grimes corner and Ayew pounced on the loose ball, smashing it into the net from close range.

Wednesday hit the woodwork for a third time just after the hour mark when Murphy smashed the loose ball against Woodman's left-hand post after Fletcher's header was saved.

Ayew put his header wide and Wilmot then headed against a post.

Wednesday equalised when Adam Reach's low drive was parried by Woodman and the ball eventually fell for Forestieri to finish from close range.

Fox struck in added time after Dominic Iorfa headed down following a corner before Wilmot equalised with a far-post header from a Grimes corner.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk said: "It was very frustrating in the end.

"The effort and commitment is there and it's clear they're fighting hard for each other, but set-pieces in the last two games have cost us.

"You need to focus on what you've trained very hard to do. The roles are very clear and you need to focus on what you need to do but unfortunately we haven't done that in those two critical moments in the last two games.

"We probably should be stood here with six points from the last two games but we have the one.

"How the ball didn't go in for us in the first half is quite unbelievable. To fight back and get that lead shows there's a lot of effort and commitment.

"There's a lot of positives but of course there's work to be done during the international break ahead of our busiest period when we come out of it."

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Neil 'hasn't much to complain about' as Preston stick second

Preston boss Alex Neil was left beaming at the final whistle after seeing his side keep up the pressure at the top of the Championship table and end Huddersfield's seven-match unbeaten run in the process.

Jayden Stockley headed his first of the season as he reacted quickest to a free-kick, before Alan Browne doubled the lead.

And Paul Gallagher sealed the victory after the break by converting from the spot, with Juninho Bacuna pulling one back for Huddersfield.

"I am really pleased, not just with today, but with our form in recent weeks," said Neil. "Today is another three points for us, with three goals to go with it, and we stay unbeaten at home.

"I cannot have much to complain about now, we are getting results and performing well.

"It was important to go in at half time in front, and I think based on the chances we created, we deserved that.

"We knew we would have to change something in our approach, as we were missing two important players, but the team reacted well and showed they can adapt in these situations.

"The important thing now for us in the coming weeks is to keep momentum going, we have a great run of form going and the players are confident.

"The players can be very proud of the run that we are on right now."

Victory kept the home side second in the table, two points behind leaders West Brom, while Huddersfield slipped one place to 19th.

The hosts were in confident mood right from kick off and Stockley handed them a deserved lead after just four minutes at Deepdale.

Browne doubled their advantage ten minutes before the break. The Republic of Ireland international kept his composure to fire home Tom Barkuizen's cross from a tight angle.

They only had to wait five minutes into the second half to put the game to bed as Gallagher confidently fired home from the penalty spot, following a handball by Terence Kongolo.

Bacuna showed real power to burst through two Preston tackles in midfield, and with the hosts' defence backing off, he powered an effort home from the edge of the box on 74 minutes.

Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley said: "Of course a result like this is difficult to take, but I simply do not think we started well enough today, and that hampered us.

"We do have to praise Preston, they worked hard right from the start and we struggled to cope with them in the first half.

"They played with a real intensity and we found it hard to cope with that.

"We do not look for excuses in these situations as we cannot control things like the referee or decisions that may or may not go our way.

"I spoke to the referee at the end and there could have been decisions that went differently for us, but sometimes that is the way it goes.

"We have to look at ourselves now and look ahead to the next few games we have coming up.

"The travelling fans were fantastic today, but we let ourselves down with the performance. We came up short and we need to look at that together as a club."

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