Omitting Fulham striker never came into head of Whites chief Scott Parker

Scott Parker never considered leaving Aleksandar Mitrovic out of yesterday’s 2-0 FA Cup win at QPR despite the fallout from the Serbian striker’s New Years Eve Covid-19 breach coming to light this week.

The Whites striker made headlines after being pictured seeing in the New Year with his partner and friends, including Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic.

Parker commented on the matter earlier in the week, confirming that the incident had been dealt with internally. But he was adamant when asked about the prospect of not selecting the Serbian forward in light of the incident.

“Not really. We’ve dealt with the matter internally with Aleks. He understands my position and the reasons for that. We turn the page now, we move on. I thought he grew into the game today as it went on. He’s been punished. Like I said last time, he’ll have to face the consequences from that. I feel like that’s been the case and now we move on and he moves on and shows his quality.

Queens Park Rangers v Fulham Emirates FA Cup, 3rd Round, Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, 09 January 2021
“Mitro grew into the game today. It seemed like there was a little bit of a problem at the end there with a muscle. I’m not sure if it was a hamstring or high up into the glute really. I literally just left the changing room and spoke to him briefly. It’s a bit early to assess that. But I think I’ve said a few times over the last week or so that it’s [attacking positions] certainly an area where we’re gonna need to improve a little bit because we’re very light in that area. It’s a little bit of a concern for us, but we’ll keep going.
Parker also backed the current protocols that the Premier League has in place following the increased number of positive Covid-19 cases around the country – including in football. Fulham suffered an outbreak amongst the first-team squad a couple of weeks ago, and saw their last two Premier League fixtures postponed as a result.
Queens Park Rangers v Fulham Emirates FA Cup, 3rd Round, Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, 09 January 2021

“All I can say is that in terms of the environment that we’re around and the protocols put in place, it certainly feels safe. Of course, I understand the bigger picture and what’s happening out there as well. There’s a much bigger picture than just football.

“But I think in this moment in time, since football got back on to people’s TVs and in people’s minds it’s proven a big release for a lot of people. For me, of course, I think there’s a balance. The people in the places who make those decisions need to keep a close eye on that and I’m sure they are. But from my point of view, the protocols and everything in place, the wellbeing of the players are always paramount and at the forefront for us as a football club and the authorities as well.”

PHOTOS: KEITH GILLARD


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