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Scott Parker tight-lipped on Aleksandar Mitrovic fitness ahead of Cardiff clash

Fulham v Cardiff City – Sky Bet Championship – Craven Cottage
(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski)

Fulham boss Scott Parker was not prepared to give anything away regarding the fitness of star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic as his side try and book a Championship play-off final spot.

Mitrovic, who won the division’s Golden Boot with 26 goals, did not play in the semi-final first leg against Cardiff due to a hamstring injury.

Parker said he took a “calculated risk” and it paid off as the Cottagers won 2-0 in south Wales and will look to complete the job at Craven Cottage on Thursday night.

The Serbian returned to training on Wednesday, along with Ivan Cavaleiro, but Parker remained tight-lipped over whether he plans to use his striker.

“It was his first day back training,” Parker said. “We had to make a decision the other day because of the dynamic of where we are in the season and the game is going to be played over two legs.

“There was a small issue and I had to make a call on Monday. He has trained (on Wednesday) and we will see where we are, the same with Cavaleiro.

“We are constantly managing all situations because of the vast amount of football that has been played in a short space of time.

“Regarding Aleks, I wouldn’t want to just say him, there are a group of players that you are managing and working for the best scenarios.

“I had to make a call which was best for the team and the football club and how we approach it. The game is over two legs, I am not going to discuss that. He has trained (on Wednesday). We are where we are and we will keep managing those situations.”

Harry Arter was the only player not to train, meaning he will miss the game.

“All the players trained, albeit it was a light session because it has been a quick turnaround,” Parker added.

“All the players trained other than Harry Arter and we will see where we are with those players who are nursing things and see how good they are in the morning to see if there are any setbacks.”

The Cottagers are two good results away from a return to the Premier League, but the transfer rumour mill has already started, with reports linking Tottenham midfielder Oliver Skipp with a move to Fulham next season.

Parker had an easy out when asked about it, though, as he said his focus was on the task in hand.

“It is so far from my mind, my sole focus and real aim is on trying to get results and try and put us in the best position to win the matches in front of us,” he said.

“I have not even entered the thought of transfers.”