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Scott Parker: Fulham still in the market for new players

Cardiff City v Fulham – Sky Bet Championship – Play-Off – First Leg – Cardiff City Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Manager Scott Parker insists Fulham are still in the market for new players as they prepare for their second Premier League match of the season against Leeds on Saturday.

Last season’s Sky Bet Championship play-off winners struggled on their top-flight return as Arsenal ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in the season opener at Craven Cottage.

However, Parker has reasons to be optimistic after his side, which included four debutants in Alphonse Areola, Mario Lemina, Kenny Tete and Antonee Robinson, progressed through to the third round of the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 victory over Ipswich.

The 39-year-old is also hoping to add more faces to his squad before the end of the summer transfer window on October 5, but remains wary after the club spent more than £100million when they were last promoted to the Premier League in 2018.

“We’re in the market to bring some players in to try and improve us,” Parker said.

“We’ve done some business in some players but, at the same time, I think we all realise where we need to improve and where we need to strengthen from the last time we were in the Premier League.

“And obviously realising that, we’re going to try and do that if we can.”

Aleksandar Mitrovic netted his 50th goal for the club at Portman Road on Tuesday night on his 102nd appearance, and finished last season as the Championship’s golden boot winner with 26 goals.

However, midfielder Tom Cairney was next on Fulham’s leading scorers list with eight, and attack is one of the areas Parker wants to strengthen.

The former England international said: “I think it’s clear defensively we’ve not brought in many players. Obviously we brought in some full-backs but certainly in the central areas we’ve not brought in many players.

“Everywhere else in the squad and around the pitch I think we’ve improved. Certainly in the midfield we brought in some players and a goalie as well, but I think front half and defensively those are areas which we’re hopefully looking to try and improve and make us better.”

When asked whether he was concerned about an over-reliance on Mitrovic, Parker said: “I think for sure goals need to come from all over the pitch, and we need to get that from midfield and from our wide areas, of course.

“But I think like any team there’s going to be a central figure.

“If you look at any team there’s always going to be a central figure that gets you the most goals and Mitro’s obviously that man for us. He was last year and I’m sure he’s going to be that man for us this year.”