With Fulham beating Aston Villa 1-0 at Wembley yesterday in the Championship playoff final they were finally promoted back to the Premier League after a four-year absence.
The Cottagers were dominant in the first half and it seemed like Villa hadn’t bothered to turn up for the game.
The winning goal was scored in the first half by Fulham captain Tom Cairney who for us – was the best player on the pitch.
But he will not be coming to Newcastle this summer – the Scottish International will stay at Fulham who looked a very decent team yesterday with lots of skill.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – so what’s the name of that massive Cup?
In the second half, Steve Bruce’s side were much better and made it more of a game.
They were given a chance when Belgian Denis Odoi was sent off after 70 minutes for a second yellow card.
But Fulham showed they could hold on defensively in one of the most important matches they have played in a very long time.
Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic had said he wanted to sign Newcastle’s Aleksandar Mitrovic if Fulham were promoted.
Mitro put in a workmanlike performance yesterday and worked his socks off for Fulham.
The 23-year-old was delighted after the win with the cameras continually on the Newcastle striker who will represent Serbia in the World Cup this summer in Russia.
This is what Serbian manager Jokanovic said after the game:
“We have shown we are one of the best Championship teams.”
“We showed we can be solid, organized and work altogether for a clean sheet.”
“The last 20 minutes all we were thinking about was not conceding.” “This is a really important victory for us and we deserved it.”
“It’s not easy to play at Wembley, there is a lot of pressure.” “We know what is ahead of us.”
“The Premier League is the best and most competitive league, and we must be clever.”
“One important improvement is now finished, and now we must show ambition to be a Premier League team.”
“To show the ambition, we’re going to need to show the money too.” (oh yes)
“We believe we can play this way but we must know what characteristics of players we need.”
“In general we must try to dominate against some teams that we believe we can dominate against and be realistic against others.”
“We must know what our plan is and what are the characteristics of the players we need for the future.”
Jokanovic had Watford promoted back in 2015, but he could not reach an agreement on a new contract, so he left.
The manager deserves to be in the Premier League, and we assume he will be staying with the Cottagers for next season.
We wonder if Fulham now have £20M to spend on Mitrovic – but the fee could be higher than that if Newcastle wait and Mitro has a good World Cup – which is very possible.
We doubt that Fulham will have enough money to buy Mitrovic.
Jack Farish is currently studying for a Master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology at Northumbria University.
His thesis project looks at Premier League fans’ team identification – how well they support and identify with their team.
Jack has put together a relatively short questionnaire of team identification and satisfaction with life; it should take no longer than 10 minutes.
You can help Jack by filling out the survey here.