Fulham’s 3-2 victory over Luton Town in the Championship last night saw goalkeeper Marek Rodak make his first-team debut, and his first league appearance since April.
Scott Parker’s side moved up to 7th win the win at home to Luton last night, putting the weekend defeat at Stoke behind them.
A first hat-trick in English Football for Aleksandar Mitrovic gave Fulham the win, but it wasn’t made all that easy by Graeme Jones’ Luton.
Dan Potts pegged a goal back at 2-0, and Kazenga LuaLua added a late consolation goal for the Hatters.
One of the talking point from last night’s game was the inclusion of Marek Rodak.
The 22-year-old keeper is a product of the club’s youth academy and made his first-team debut for Fulham last night.
He’d spent last season on loan with Rotherham United playing all but one of their Championship games last season – he’s also had loan spells with Accrington Stanley and Welling in the past too.
The Slovakian came in for Marcus Bettinelli.
Bettinelli was Fulham’s number one for much of their promotion season in 2017/18, but featured only seven times in the Premier League last season, with Sergio Rico being the preferred stopper.
Fulham have kept only three clean sheets this season, and Parker will be desperate for that number to increase if his side’s to have a realistic shot at promotion.
It’s a bold call for any manager to change their goalkeeper mid-way through a season, and it’ll have angered Bettinelli who’s played over 100 games in goal for Fulham.
Rodak presents a new opportunity for Fulham, in establishing a young goalkeeper in the first-team – he was a favourite at Rotherham last season, and Fulham fans hold him in high regard for the future.
Will Fulham be promoted from the Championship this season?
Now that Parker’s made this call, does he have to stick with it?
He won’t want to get into the process of chopping and changing his keepers every game, so expect Rodak to have a good run in the squad to see how he settles.
Fulham have had such an inconsistent season. Fans know how capable they are and many believe that they have the best starting XI in the whole league.
With that said, 7th after 13 games is not good enough. A good run in the Championship will shoot any team up the league, and Fulham could find themselves in the automatic places if a few results go their way.
Rodak showed glimpses of what he’s capable of last night, and could well develop into a key figure at Craven Cottage before the end of the season.