Fulham manager Marco Silva backed Aleksandar Mitrovic’s record to thrive in the Premier League next season after the Serbian striker took his league tally to 43 goals this season in a 7-0 win over Luton on Monday .
Mitrovic, 27, scored just three goals as London club Fulham were relegated from the Premier League last season, but Silva said: “He will be more confident next season – we have to be that as well. what a club.”
The 44-year-old Portuguese boss added: “We all have to improve every year. We can’t judge him just by the goals he scores next season – we have to analyze a lot of other things from him.
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“We have to prepare. It’s not really different from this season. The challenge will be more difficult, but it has been difficult this season. Fulham were already assured of promotion before the start of their final home game of the season.
And they gave Craven Cottage fans even more to celebrate against the overmatched Hatters.
Fulham captain Tom Cairney opened the scoring with a powerful 29th-minute strike before Kenny Tete doubled the lead from long range 10 minutes later.
All of Luton’s promotion hopes of making a comeback then evaporated during a second-half Fulham goal cascade.
Fabio Carvalho made it 3-0 before Mitrovic scored his 42nd league goal of the campaign to equal Portsmouth hero Guy Whittingham’s record for most goals in a second-tier campaign, set during the season 1992/93.
Bobby Decordova-Reid and Jean-Michael Seri fired Fulham further before Mitrovic scored his second goal of the game.
Luton’s heaviest defeat of the season dropped them to sixth, the last of the play-off places – the top two are guaranteed automatic promotion with the other Premier League place decided by play-offs involving the teams finishing third to sixth.
Home victory over Reading in their final game of the regular season on Saturday will see Luton in the play-offs, but anything less and they could be overhauled by Middlesbrough.
“We had a really tough day,” Luton manager Nathan Jones said. “But they (Fulham) are the best team in the division, and congratulations to them.
“We have nine injured in the first team… What we need to do is make sure we dust ourselves off, and we’re ready to go at the weekend.
“Let’s expect that, rather than dwelling on poor performance.”