Scott Parker disappointed for Aleksandar Mitrovic after positive Covid-19 test

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Scott Parker says it is disappointing for Aleksandar Mitrovic to have contracted coronavirus just as he felt the Serbia striker was starting to turn his season around.

Mitrovic tested positive ahead of Fulham’s impressive 2-0 victory at Everton on Sunday and was not involved in the matchday squad.

The 26-year-old was the only recognised centre-forward at Fulham for most of the season, before Josh Maja’s arrival on loan from Bordeaux earlier this month, and has struggled for goals, having not found the net for the club since September.

Mitrovic has started just eight games for Fulham this term, with Parker previously saying he took him out to give him some air during a difficult period stemming from his decisive miss while on international duty which sent Scotland to the European Championship in place of Serbia.

“He’s good, at this present moment in time he’s got mild symptoms of the virus,” Parker said when asked about Mitrovic, who will face 10 days in self-isolation as per Government guidelines.

“Of course it’s disappointing for Aleks because at this moment I felt like he was coming out the other side of what’s been a bit of a tough season.

“But it’s disappointing to pick up the virus and now have to be away from the group and away from us at a big time where we need him as well.”

Fulham take on Burnley on Wednesday with Sean Dyche’s side on a decent run of league form which has included victories over Liverpool, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.

Maja, on his first Premier League start, scored twice at Everton to answer Fulham’s goalscoring problems this campaign.

Before the game at Goodison Park, the Cottagers had found the net just four times in the league since Christmas, but Parker was reluctant to put too much pressure on the new signing.

He said: “What a way to start, full Premier League debut for us and to score two goals and for us to win the game it was pretty special for him really.

“I’m really conscious, I don’t want to put a lot on someone so young’s shoulders but I’ve been very impressed in the short space of time I’ve been working with Josh and hopefully that can continue really.

“He’s fitted in very, very well. I think he’s come into a young group, a real energetic upbeat group of players and he’s fitted in to that bracket very, very well.

“He’s also fitted in in a short space of time as one who wants to learn, a player who wants to get better and I think that’s vitally important when you come in to where we are and he’s made those strides very, very easily.”

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