Marco Silva says in-form striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is in the form of his life after scoring the goal that sent Serbia to the World Cup last week.
The Fulham boss, who watched Serbia’s decisive tie against his native Portugal last weekend, told his pre-match press conference that Mitrovic is full of confidence after scoring twenty goals in seventeen Championship appearances this season.
“As you’d expect, he’s in a good place. He’s in a special place, he’s in a very good mood with very high confidence, and all of us congratulate him. Everyone remembers what happened one year ago, and that’s football. When you have bad moments, if you do things right and people keep believing in you, and if you keep working hard, things can change.
I think he’s a good example for everyone, to think that when you’re in a bad place, if you have the quality and desire, the commitment and the confidence, and if the people around you support you, then things can change. Mitro is a good example of how in 12 months, everything can change, and he deserves this moment in his career. But he knows that I believe he can do more and more and more, and I know that he wants to do more.”
Silva certainly won’t be taking Barnsley for granted tomorrow – even if new manager Poya Asbaghi won’t take charge of the Tykes formally until Monday.
“The main focus for us will be ourselves. We know that they changed the manager, who will possibly be in the stands at the game. We don’t know but that’s not the important thing for us. As always, we analysed some moments from them and some of their games, but the main thing is always to focus on ourselves. There are some things that we’ve worked on, the players go into the match knowing everything they should do. For us it doesn’t matter if they come from a good result or not, we still respect them as a club. As always, we look to ourselves and what we can do in the game.”
“For me and my players, we know that the next one is always the most important game for us. Always, always, always. Tomorrow’s match is very important. I’m not saying that it will be more important than Peterborough, or be more important than the next one, but it’s really, really important for us to play with 100% focus, to start the game really strongly.”
Silva confirmed that Ivan Cavaleiro and Nathaniel Chalobah will miss the Barnsley game through injury. Chalobah has returned to training following a calf injury but will not be risked tomorrow, whilst Cavaleiro could be in contention to feature at Preston next weekend.