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Fulham Head Coach Scott Parker: We were were exceptional

last updated Thursday 27th February 2020, 6:53 PM

Fulham Football Club

Fulham Head Coach Scott Parker

Scott Parker
Scott Parker
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Fulham Head Coach Scott Parker believes Wednesday night’s events were about more than just three points for Fulham.

It looked as though the opportunity for victory may have passed us by when Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 89th minute penalty was saved.

But the spirit of the side did not waver, as the final moments of stoppage time saw Joe Bryan bust a gut to quell a Swansea City attack, which turned into Aboubakar Kamara delivering a wonderful cross for Mitrovic to power home.

“When you miss a penalty late on obviously you feel a bit like it’s not your night, but full credit to the team,” Parker said. “Full credit to the whole squad.

“I’ve been in this job now for a year and we often speak to the players about the detail in the way we want to play and the technical side, but I talk about building the mentality more than anything, building a never say die attitude.

“We’ve fallen short in that side of the game before, but what top teams do is what we did tonight. After missing the penalty there was an option for Mitrovic to think it maybe wasn’t his night, there was an option for Joe Bryan not to chase back in that dying moment to make a last ditch tackle, and for us to not go up the other end.

“Abou Kamara’s put a cross in and Mitrovic has the desire and the mentality to think, 'you know what, this needs to go on my head, I need to climb above this centre-half and put it in the goal.'

“That’s what pleases me the most.”

He continued: “The team need to understand that what they’ve done tonight, what Mitrovic has done, what Abou Kamara has done coming off the bench, maybe disappointed he didn’t start tonight, what Joe Bryan has done, and as a team what we’ve done is sometimes more important than the result.

“And when you’re trying to develop a team and trying to become a top team, which is our aspiration, for me as the coach there’s a bigger picture sometimes.”

That 94th minute winner takes Mitrovic’s tally to 23 Championship goals for the season, and Parker hopes he maintains that relentless fight which he showed on Wednesday.

“For me as a coach, when you’re giving messages to the team and you’re trying to change a mentality, and I include Mitrovic in that because he is so young still, it’s moments like this that really force your words,” he explained.

“If you don’t have these moments, your words sometimes can maybe fall a little bit short. I hope that Mitro understands that by going and going and going, from zero to 90 or 95 [minutes] then you’ve always got a chance, and that’s what top players do, that’s what top teams do.

“I thought the way we played tonight was very good, I thought we were exceptional. Over the last few games we’ve had a control about us but probably not moved the ball as quick as I’d like, but certainly in the first half today I’ve seen a team that was really forward thinking.

“We had a real purpose about us and maybe could have been two up at half-time.”

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