Aleksandar Mitrovic could return to Fulham’s starting line up against Manchester United after recovering from a hamstring injury and returning to training.

The Serbian striker, who has struggled for form and fitness of late, has participated fully in this week’s training sessions at Motspur Park after missing the derby defeat by Chelsea having injured his hamstring in the FA Cup victory over QPR. Fulham boss Scott Parker told his pre-match press conference that he expects Mitrovic to play a key role in the club’s survival bid:

“He hurt his hamstring against QPR but he’ll be back tomorrow night. He’ll be the first to say this season has been a struggle in terms of form. He can help us win matches. At present I’ve gone with other people but this is a Premier League squad with healthy competition. Top players thrive on that pressure and competition. Mitro will do the same. He needs to to get into this team and more importantly score goals like I know he can.”

Parker will also be able to include Mario Lemina in his matchday squad after the on-loan Southampton midfielder shook off the after effects of coronavirus and returned to training, but will have to do without Terence Kongo for ‘a few weeks’ after the Dutch defender suffered another injury setback.

“Terence Kongolo has picked up a knock but it’s nothing too serious. He’s the only one really. He got a bit of knock in training the day before the Chelsea game and felt his hamstring. When players have had long lay-offs there’s a balance between work and not getting injured again, and he’s not been lucky.”

Parker, who reiterated that he was ‘immensely proud’ of his side’s efforts having been reduced to ten men against Chelsea, is now targeting victories as Fulham look to move away from the relegation zone in the coming weeks.

“That’s the next big challenge for us really. We’ve been able to stay in games, give ourselves a platform and be more solid as a team. The fine margins of this division means we need to take our chances. When you look at the numbers in an attacking sense we’re holding our own. But we need to turn draws into wins. We’ll keep pushing and get on the end of some good results.”

The Fulham head coach will also like more additions to his squad, especially in forward areas, to boost their survival aspirations.

“It’s a difficult window. We have one recognised striker in the building in Mitrovic. We understand where we’re a bit light but I also understand this a tough window. Time’s not on our side. We’ll work relentlessly hard to try and improve our attacking play to get on the right end of results.”