Marco Silva has confirmed that Aleksandar Mitrovic will make his Fulham return at Southampton on Saturday after serving his eight-match suspension.

The Fulham head coach revealed that the Serbian striker had been frustrated by his enforced spell on the sidelines following his altercation with referee Chris Kavanagh at Old Trafford but praised Mitrovic for his attitude during a difficult period. Silva told his pre-match press conference this afternoon:

“It’s been tough, I will not lie to you. His behaviour has been very, very good, all this period, with support from ourselves, but he knew from the first day that it’s going to be a different situation to a normal ban. He was always working with the team and came in on the weekends. It was a tough period for him, of course, The dressing room supported him, we as a staff, all of us in our football club, our fans as well. It’s clear, even during the matchdays, you can feel that they are with him clearly, and it will be good to have him back.

We admitted as a club that you cannot react in that situation. He did it, he admitted the mistake, but the number of games, if you compare with the other situations, is completely different. It’s what it is, we as a club kept strong and kept supporting him, and it will be a good thing to have him back.”

Mitrovic is expected to lead the line at St. Mary’s this weekend but the form of Carlos Vinicius, who has scored against Manchester City and Leicester City in two of his last three outings, means that Silva has a selection poser ahead of the trip south.

“A very good headache. It’s what any manager wants really, and it was the reason why we signed Carlos. More game time and making good things, bad things, mistakes, whatever, makes players grow. Of course, some important goals gave him ?????????the confidence that he needs as well, and it’s nice to see him performing better and better the last few games.

It’s important to have a player like Mitro, a player like Vini, and we even won two games with Daniel James as a striker and Bobby as a striker. Different profiles, and we were able to do that in games against Everton, and Leeds at home, and that shows that everyone knows his role, everyone is fighting for the Club and can pop up in certain moments of the season.”