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Claudio Ranieri still wants Aleksandar Mitrovic on penalties despite Oldham miss

PA | 2mo
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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1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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