Date: 10th July 2019 at 5:52pm
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Fulham were expected to at least survive in the Premier League  – after they spent £100m on new players, but defensive issues troubled them all season, and they were duly relegated with 26 points having conceded 81 goals, which for a Premier League side is embarrassing.

Scott Parker is now in charge permanently at Craven Cottage, and he has a big task on his hands if he wants to get Fulham promoted back to the Premier League – at the first time of asking.

One piece of news which is sure to boost those hopes is that their, talismanic, striker Aleksandar Mitrovic signed a new five-year deal at the club.

Mitrovic scored 12 in 17 games the last time he was in the Championship, with Fulham, so big things will be expected from the 24-year-old.

Another key man, however, will be Fulham club captain Tom Cairney who had a season to forget in the Premier League – as he made 31 appearances but only scored once and registered one assist.

These are poor numbers for the man who scored the winner in the Championship playoff-final  – and throughout that season contributed heavily to the Cottagers promotion charge, making 37 appearances for the club.

The 28-year-old’s record in the Championship is excellent, for a midfielder, as he has scored 34 goals and set up a further 44 from his position.

Cairney, therefore, should be ready to get back to his best; he has already confirmed that he is staying at Craven Cottage because he wants to repair the damage from last season and both he and Mitrovic could form a lethal partnership.

Unfortunately, all of it could be for nothing if Fulham do not sort out their defence – they need to find a way to stop conceding so many goals, or it doesn’t matter how good their attack is.

That, however, is not something that Cairney can influence all he can do is provide the forwards with the ammunition, and he has proven in the past that he is very much capable of that.

If Fulham can stop leaking so many goals, Cairney could play a key part in getting Fulham promoted, and it would vindicate his decision to stay.

 

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