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‘We need leaders’ – Scott Parker hails Aleksandar Mitrovic after rousing speech

Liverpool v Fulham – Premier League – Anfield
(Image credit: Phil Noble)

Scott Parker has said he welcomes leadership in the changing room after witnessing a rousing speech by Aleksandar Mitrovic following Fulham’s defeat to Wolves last week.

Mario Lemina, who was in tears after Adama Traore’s last-gasp winner sealed victory for Wolves at Craven Cottage last Friday, spoke earlier in the week about a passionate address delivered by the Serbian.

“Yes it’s definitely something I welcome. It’s something I want more of, it’s something that in this day and age we’re probably losing a little bit of,” Parker said when asked about Mitrovic’s display of leadership.

“I think in teams – and in very good teams – you have big characters and personalities, people that speak, people that lead by example and that’s what you want. I think that’s the key thing, your words and your actions, it’s easy to talk, but we need action from every one of these players.

“We are a very young squad and a very young team in this division… I don’t know but we’re probably one of the youngest to be honest.

“Certainly leadership and a real personality at times (is important) and even more so in the situation that we’ve been in for large parts… it’s very easy to shy away from things, but you need to stand up and you need to be counted and we need a lot more of that as well.”

Fulham travel to Arsenal on Sunday after missing out on a third opportunity to move clear of the bottom three. They are currently 18th in the table and six points behind 17th-placed Newcastle after the Magpies won at Burnley.

“It’s been a normal week as always, lifting the team and lifting the players in the early part of the week,” Parker said before the trip to the Emirates.

“This group of players have got a bit of resilience about them and we bounce back and we’re now looking forward to a London derby and a very, very good side in Arsenal and hopefully we can try and get a result.”

He added: “For large parts of this year I’ve sat here and said we always focus on ourselves, but now it’s got to the point of the season where maybe you’re looking elsewhere as well and hoping some other clubs can slip up along the way.

“But, as always, if you’re not going to win football matches or you don’t win enough you’re always going to be in trouble and that’s where we are really.

“So there’s one main focus which is us, let’s go and try and win this game on Sunday. Let’s go to the Emirates, put on a very good performance, a good display all round but ultimately what we need to do is try and get a result.”

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