Fulham head coach Scott Parker insists Aleksandar Mitrovic will ‘be raring to go’ following his penalty shoot-out heartbreak with Serbia against Scotland.
David Marshall saved Mitrovic’s spot-kick in last week’s shoot-out in Belgrade, sending Scotland through to a major tournament for the first time since 1998.
However, Parker maintains Mitrovic will not be left dwelling long on what might have been after his penalty miss.
Parker is confident it will not be long before the 26-year-old shrugs off the setback to again focus on Fulham’s Premier League survival battle, which continues with the visit of Everton on Sunday.
“Mitro has just come in today (from international duty), of course he is disappointed with Serbia not qualifying and missing a penalty, but he is a strong personality,” Parker said.
“As a centre-forward, you need to have that mentality about you, when you always put yourself on offer (to take a spot-kick), then there are always opportunities where you are going to be highlighted.
“Fine margins between success and failure are so little but again what determines how people react from that is the most important. I have no doubt that come the weekend, Alex will be raring to go.”
‘Five subs wouldn’t favour Fulham’
Parker believes the reintroduction of the five substitute rule would not be beneficial for his Fulham side, but admits if it is proven to be better for player welfare, then he would understand the decision.
EFL clubs voted this week to allow teams five substitutions per match, starting on Friday, but the Premier League will continue with three substitutes.
Parker said: “Five subs will probably not benefit us as much as what it would do the top clubs. I know they’ve got more fixtures as in Champions League fixtures, but what comes with being successful is bigger squads.
“Obviously the big one being brought up is the wellbeing. I do see that as well. I can only comment from my side and of course while I sit here trying to work out where we are, I also understand that there may be a case for wellbeing.
“We had a vote at the beginning of this season, and that vote was clearly in favour of three subs. We have enough data to look at whether there is an incline in injuries, whether there is an issue with wellbeing in players – and if that is the case then I’ll be the first to say I understand.”
Parker: Lookman will learn from mistakes
Mitrovic isn’t the only Fulham player to suffer spot-kick misfortune recently, as Ademola Lookman squandered the chance to salvage a draw against West Ham before the international break – as his Panenka-style penalty was saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
Lookman appeared inconsolable after his spot-kick mishap and vowed to come back stronger.
Parker has been impressed with how the on-loan RB Leipzig forward handled the fall-out with a positive mind-set rather than just left mulling it all over again during the international break.
Parker said: “Like with most things in life, and certainly in football, you need to learn from those mistakes and have those conversations, which we have as well, and move on very quickly.
“You have to practise and get better, understand the processes and decisions made, see where we can improve.
“Ade is going to be vitally important for us this year, he is going to be a big player for us, which we are going to need.”
“He has that other bit to him where he wants to get better, wants to improve, spends a lot of time on his game and I have seen that over the last 10 days.”