Mitrovic backs Fulham to flourish in Premier League
The on-loan Serbian striker might not be at Craven Cottage next season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is sure Fulham will flourish in the Premier League next season – with or without him.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s swashbuckling side ended their four year top-flight absence by digging deep to beat Aston Villa and win Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final at Wembley.
Fulham defender Denis Odoi’s sending off brought a nervy ending to proceedings, but captain Tom Cairney’s goal proved enough in a 1-0 win that will live long in the memory.
Promotion surely makes the immediate future of the likes of Cairney, Ryan Sessegnon and Ryan Fredericks more secure, while putting the west Londoners in a stronger position to tie up on-loan stars.
Mitrovic is among those and has shone brightly in attack since his deadline day loan move from Newcastle in January, becoming an influential and popular figure at Craven Cottage.
“I don’t know,” the Serbia striker said of his future. “Of course I am really happy here.
“I had the best three and a half, four months of my career. We will see what happens.
“I am still a Newcastle United player, I have two years left on my contract, so we will see.
“I want to enjoy now. I have one day to rest and then I have to work hard, and I will focus on that.
“I have people – my agent and people who speak with the clubs – and we will see what happens.
“I just want to enjoy the moment. I am really happy now.”
Mitrovic grinned as he reflected on Saturday’s “really unbelievable” triumph and believes Jokanovic’s side are set up to thrive in the top division.
“Of course Fulham will be successful in the Premier League for sure,” he said.
“I say we will see what happens (with my future). I am really happy here and I just want to enjoy the moment.
“I am delighted with the style we play, the players, with the staff. Every part.
“The fans really help a lot and I think I play some of the best football in my life, the last four months, and I really enjoyed it.”
The claret and blue half of Wembley was virtually empty by the time Fulham lifted the play-off trophy.
“It is very disappointing,” Aston Villa full-back Ahmed Elmohamady said.
“I thought we played really good in the second half and deserved at least a goal, but we were unlucky.
“We had many chances to get a goal, but they took their chance in the first half, taking it very well and scored.
“In the last 15 minutes after their sending off they defended very well behind the ball and made it very difficult for us.”
The financial knock-on is likely to have ramifications at Aston Villa this summer, but Elmohamady hopes Steve Bruce’s side can rally next term.
“When you get in the play-offs, you want to step closer to the Premier League,” the Egypt international said.
“When you lose, of course you get together again and start again next season.
“Hopefully we will be back next season.”