Rio Ferdinand said that Fulham have to make Aleksandar Mitrovic ‘the focal point’ of their side if they are to succeed.
The Serbian striker had an inconsistent season last time he was in the Premier League with Fulham but was far more dangerous in the Championship as they gained promotion.
Speaking to BT Sport, Ferdinand and others suggested Marco Silva and his players would enjoy the benefits if they played to the target man’s strengths.
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Former England and Liverpool striker Peter Crouch said: “You can’t just leave him isolated and today, they did get round him. He was the focal point.”
He continued: “You just want to be hit from everywhere, diagonals, into the chest, crosses into the box. That's what he thrives on... This season he will be the main man.”
Rachel Brown-Finnis added: “You set up and you know he’s your main guy, the one who’s going to get goals for you.
“You’ve got to play to his strengths, and that’s holding it up, playing off, and having runners. I think they had numbers flooded forward. At 90 minutes, Mitrovic was still holding the ball up for his team.”
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand drew comparisons with Fulham’s most recent season in the top flight.
He warned: “I don’t think we can get carried away but the big difference today is last time they were up they did not completely play to his strengths, whereas this first evidence that we’re getting here, [it] seems that [Andreas] Pereira, he’s new through the door, every time he gets on the ball he’s looking for Mitrovic.
“Every time they get wide they’re crossing the ball. Fourteen crosses in the first half.
“They’re going to need that again, make him the focal point.”
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