Fulham continued their surge up the Championship table with a 2-1 win at Swansea City on Friday night.
A first-half brace from Aleksandar Mitrovic secured the 2-1 win for Fulham, with Swans’ George Byers scoring a consolation midway through the second-half.
It was Fulham’s fourth-straight win in the Championship and sees Scott Parker’s side go three points ahead of 4th-placed Nottingham Forest, closing the gap to West Brom in 2nd to four – although a win for the Baggies at Preston tonight tough would see them return to the top.
Another solid team performance from the Cottagers, and one man stood out alongside Mitrovic.
Alfie Mawson has been in fantastic form for Fulham this season. The 25-year-old was once hailed as the ‘next best’ of all the young English centre-halves and when he got his multi-million pound move to Fulham in the summer of last year, he looked set to have his breakthrough season in the top-flight.
He, amongst a host of others, failed to live up to expectations, and was part of the Fulham side that succumbed to a miserable relegation back into the Championship – Mawson played 15 Premier League games under three different managers for Fulham last season.
The aim for Fulham going into this season was to return to the top-flight but realistically, not everyone at the club thought it’d be that easy. On paper, Fulham have one, if not the best squad in the division. But a lot of them, Mawson included, were under-performing massively in the last season.
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This campaign could’ve gone either way for Mawson – Parker could’ve brought someone new in to partner Tim Ream at the back, or could’ve gone for someone like Maxime Le Marchland. But he stuck with the former Swansea man and he’s repaid the faith, having his best spell so far in a Fulham shirt.
He looks to have matured alongside Ream at the back. The pair look to have a real understanding in the works and with Ream his elder and an experienced head in the Championship, Mawson has someone to guide him.
It would’ve been difficult for the 25-year-old in the summer as well. Having struggled in the top-flight, he would’ve been low on confidence going into this campaign and wondering if he’ll ever get the chance to play there again.
Given how this terms gone so far though, Mawson and Fulham could well make a timely return to the Premier League under Parker and from there, who knows how far Mawson can go in his footballing career.