The Warmdown: Five star Fulham give themselves a chance of automatic promotion
(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The victory over Sheffield Wednesday has given Scott Parker's side the slimmest of chances of claiming the final automatic promotion spot to the Premier League as they head into the last game of the season.

The win takes The Cottagers into fourth place and are two points off the much sought after second place, after promotion rivals slipped up, with Brentford losing 1-0 to Stoke City and West Brom losing 2-1 away to Huddersfield.

As for Sheffield Wednesday, they had truly little riding on this match, with Gary Monk's side happy to see the back of this Championship season.

They were in contention for a play-off spot at Christmas, however, after a run of poor form, now find themselves currently in 16th place, and the Owls have limped home to a disappointing season after a start that promised so much.

Mitrovic inspires again

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his 25th and 26th goals of the season to put himself into pole position to claim the Championship Golden Boot ahead of Brentford striker, Ollie Watkins.

The Serbian international has been the catalyst for Fulham's success this season, and his double from this fixture saw him become the top scorer across the top four divisions in England.

Mitrovic has been vital to Fulham's potential promotion push since joining on a permanent transfer this summer. The ex-Newcastle striker, who joined Fulham for a reported fee of around £22million, has dominated the Championship this season and his goal scoring prowess has contributed to 41% of Fulham's goal tally in the league.

Kebano finds his scoring touch

If Fulham miss out on automatic promotion on Wednesday evening, in their final game of the season, and must settle their fate with the lottery of the play-offs, then Scott Parker will be thankful that Congolese winger, Neeskens Kebano has regained his goal scoring abilities.

Not only did Kebano score his first goal of the season, he scored his first goal for The Cottagers since Fulham's 3-1 loss to Brentford in December 2017.

Kebano has found minutes hard to come by under Scott Parker, and only has 15 appearances to his name this season, with Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert the first-choice wide men. However, against Wednesday, Kebano was ruthless in front of goal.

His first, on the 11th minute, was all down to a sublime touch from the winger to wrong foot Wednesday right back, Moses Odubajo, before Kebano let rip from the edge of the penalty area into the bottom left hand corner.

Kebano doubled his tally for the season in the 73rd minute after a smart free kick, where he rolled the ball under the bamboozled wall leaving goalkeeper, Joe Wildsmith, with no chance.

Fulham's talented squad  

One major asset to Scott Parker to help his side potentially gain promotion, either through the playoffs or via the automatic spots, will be Fulham's talented squad depth.  

The West London side have recruited extremely well and they have squad overflowing with tremendous talent in strength and depth.  

Their talented squad contains players with vast experience and a wealth of Premier League knowledge, which could be helpful in helping The Cottagers through the grueling playoffs.  

They have the most expensive squad in the Championship by far, with the likes of Aleksandar  Mitrovic, Ivan Cavaleiro, Alfie MawsonMichael Hector, Anthony Knockaert, Harry Arter and Josh Onomah; all having the capabilities of being able to compete in the Premier League. 

Scott Parker's thoughts

Speaking to the media after the game via video call, Fulham boss, Scott Parker had this to say on his side’s chances of automatic promotion:

"Results wise, it was key for us today, we understood that; we knew what was at stake."

There’s been some upset along the way for everyone. My team had pressure on them today, but we’ve had pressure on us throughout the year."

There are different pressures that have been asserted, coming from me and from the outside. That’s 23 wins for us in this division; we take this into the last game. We go to play an in-form Wigan team and we will look to get another result and see where we end up. If it doesn’t take us to where we want to be, we’ll try and finish it off later.”

On the impressive performance of Kebano, Parker said this:

It was brilliant for Neeskens [Kebano] with Ivan Cavaleiro out injured. People have had to stand up. We had three positive COVID tests at the start of lockdown and Mitro suspended for three games; we have had to fix things. Neeskens was a prime example of that today. He deserved that; he was very good.

Parker was also full of praise for his captain for the day and top goal scorer, Mitrovic.

"He has ability; he’s been our focal point. There’s one thing I try to drum home with him, he needs to show his leadership qualities and show how important he is. He has done that massively. He’s still only young.

He is still growing and learning. He’s accepting that responsibility and the pressure that’s heaped on centre forwards. That’s a big pressure and his performance was fantastic. He works hard for the team and I know the goals will come.”

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