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Claudio Ranieri still wants Aleksandar Mitrovic on penalties despite Oldham miss

By Nick Purewal, | 16d
Latics stunned Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Claudio Ranieri has backed Aleksandar Mitrovic to take Fulham's next penalty despite the Serbia striker missing from the spot in Sunday's 2-1 FA Cup loss to Oldham.

Mitrovic failed to convert a penalty before League Two side Oldham stole a late winner to stun their Premier League hosts at Craven Cottage.

The former Newcastle player proved Fulham's hero when netting a last-gasp winner in the 1-0 home victory over Huddersfield on December 29.

Aboubakar Kamara defied team orders to take – and miss – a penalty only for Mitrovic to save the day against the Terriers.

Ranieri conceded Mitrovic missing on his very next penalty opportunity proved rotten bad luck – but nothing more.

"I wanted Aleksandar to take the penalty," said Ranieri.

"He's our penalty taker and it was just unfortunate that he missed, especially after what happened previously.

"But I will definitely back him to take the next one. I have no problems with that, or Aleksandar."

Denis Odoi put Fulham ahead after a goalless first half, only for the hosts to fail to wrap up what should have proved a routine victory.

Instead Sam Surridge equalised from a penalty of his own, before Mitrovic failed with his spot-kick.

And then at the death Callum Lang powered home a header to stun Fulham and spark jubilant on-field and touchline celebrations from a delirious Oldham contingent.

A frustrated Ranieri must now pick up his Fulham side for Saturday's crucial Premier League relegation scrap at Burnley.

The Italian handed starting berths to a string of fringe players and will no doubt restore his regular XI at Turf Moor.

"I gave chances to players but they missed the chance," said Ranieri. "I didn't see the passion, or the desire. I only saw passion and desire from Oldham."

Oldham's caretaker boss Pete Wild remains unsure whether he will even lead his home-town club into the fourth round.

The academy coach has supported Oldham all his life and gave away his train and match tickets to take his place in the Craven Cottage dugout.

Wild has already insisted he will happily return to his academy role and a place in the stands as a fan should Oldham look elsewhere for a permanent new manager.

But the Latics fan in him is clear about who he would love his club to face next.

"I want Manchester United away, because in 1994 they ruined my childhood!" joked Wild, referring to Oldham losing out to the Red Devils in that year's FA Cup semi-finals.

"I'll always remember that Mark Hughes goal, so I owe them one! This victory means so much to me and my family; we are all Oldham people.

"To give something back to what is a small town overshadowed by bigger neighbours, and a town that's given me so much, that's such a proud feeling."



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1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711
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