Marco Silva hailed Sky Bet Championship top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic after the Serbia striker scored a brace in Fulham’s 4-0 thrashing over Nottingham Forest.
The 27-year-old notched his 14th and 15th goals of the season in a second-half brace either side of Neeskens Kebano’s first Fulham goal since January.
Former Fulham schoolboy Djed Spence had set Fulham on their way inside the first 10 minutes when he turned Mitrovic’s flick into his own net after Jean Michael Seri’s corner.
“He started the game well,” said Silva. “He had a good moment in the beginning where he could score and if you create, he’s a very dangerous player, it’s up to us to create the conditions for him to score.
“I don’t always like to talk about one or two players but he has already scored 15 goals so he is clearly an important player.
“For him to be in the right spots, everyone is working really hard for him.”
It was a third win on the bounce for Fulham after home victories against QPR and Cardiff in the last week and took the Cottagers back into the automatic promotion places.
“Our aim was to finish the week with nine points and that’s what we did,” said Silva.
“It was a tough game like we expected, even if you score early in the game like we did, we came here to play against a team in a great moment the last six games.
The result signalled a first defeat for Forest boss Steve Cooper, who had won his opening four matches in charge of the Reds before coming up against a Fulham side in red-hot form.
“I’m not saying we deserved to win the game but the scoreline was tough to take,” said the former Swansea boss. “I definitely don’t think we deserved to lose 4-0, but some of it was self-inflicted.
“But the players never gave up, I think you can see by the fans in the stadium who stayed behind us and I’ve said to the players we won’t let it derail us, I’ll only get annoyed with the players if they let this affect us.
“If you want to get anything against Fulham you can’t gift them goals like we did.”
Cooper was far from pleased with referee Matthew Donohue, who was a late replacement for James Linington and the new Forest manager claimed the official was at fault for Fulham’s early opener.
He added: “I’m very annoyed with the first goal, he wasn’t supposed to referee the game and he didn’t look ready.
“Fulham work the fouls and the blocks really well but the referees have got to see that and he fell short today. It really affected him for the rest of the game and knocked his confidence a bit.”
Forest’s best chance came through Lewis Grabban, who skied Brennan Johnson’s cross just after half time before Fulham scored three goals in nine minutes shortly after.
Cooper said: “It was a bit of a defining moment because he’s such a good finisher, but we have to get on with it. We have to take the positives, address the things that could be better and get ready for another game.
“Successful teams recover quickly from setbacks and we’ve got to show that we can do that now.”
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