The key men who led Fulham straight back into the Premier League

Scott Parker has led Fulham back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at the key men behind the Whites’ promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic has been prolific under Scott Parker
Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic has been prolific under Scott Parker (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Serbian put to bed rumours about his future in the summer when he signed a new five-year contract and has again scored regularly in the second tier. Mitrovic found the net in five of his first six league games and has hit the 20-goal mark in the Championship this season. A hat-trick against Luton in October helped him win Player of the Month, but controversy has followed too for the striker, who was banned for three games for an elbow on Ben White.

Michael Hector

Hector’s availability since January has transformed the Whites defence. After his move to Craven Cottage was announced in September, the ex-Chelsea man had to wait until the start of 2020 to make his debut, but immediately shored up Fulham at the back. Parker saw his side keep three consecutive clean sheets after the Jamaican was introduced into the team and they have been much more solid during the second half of the season.

Harrison Reed

Southampton loanee Harrison Reed has shone for Fulham
Southampton loanee Harrison Reed has shone for Fulham (Jonathan Brady/PA)

A summer loan signing from Southampton, Reed did not make his full debut until the end of August but has quickly endeared himself to the Fulham fans with a number of whole-hearted displays. The 25-year-old has proved to be a dominant figure in the centre of the pitch, with his energy and braveness on the ball similar to that of his manager during his playing days. A calf injury disrupted his campaign, but his return to fitness since football’s resumption has been crucial.

Marek Rodak

He's a keeper! 🧤#RodakMomentpic.twitter.com/O3665UKT0Q

— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) May 15, 2020

The Slovakia international had to wait until October to make his first league start of the season and was then sent off in the following match at Middlesbrough. His manager still had faith in him though, and Rodak was back in the line-up after suspension and has proved a calming presence for the Fulham defence and kept over 10 clean sheets.

Tom Cairney

Fulham’s Tom Cairney has bounced back after the disappointment of relegation from the Premier League
Fulham’s Tom Cairney has bounced back after the disappointment of relegation from the Premier League (Adam Davy/PA)

Fulham’s captain has not always been at his best this term, but his quality has shone through at crucial times like with the equaliser at Bristol City before football was suspended. The Scottish ace enjoyed a strong start to the campaign and while his performances have tailed off, he has remained a key component for boss Parker in controlling the midfield battle.

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