Parker: Mitrovic needs to answer doubters

Aleksandar Mitrovic was searching for the black cat he ran over after Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield United.

Firstly, last season’s Golden Boot winner in the Championship missed a rare penalty.

Then he gave away one at the other end from which United equalised, and finally he implored the heavens to explain how he squandered two very good chances at the death.

His manager reckons it’s what the Serbian international does next against Crystal Palace on Saturday that is the real test.

Scott Parker said: “He very quiet after the game and very quiet the following day.

“There’s massive pressure and he’s had it on his shoulders for a long time, but the top players relish that.

“Last week was disappointing for him. No-one puts more pressure on him than himself.

“You’re going to be judged on the adverse reaction. People will put you under pressure and see if you will buckle – and that’s the world we live in.

“They’re seeing if you’ll fold a little bit and you need to relish that they’re calling you out, and you need to show you can come out the other side.

“What gets him through it is what he’s made of – and he’s made of the right stuff.”

Meanwhile, Harrsion Reed is unlikely to be risked in Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace.