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  • EXCLUSIVE by Alessandro Schiavone

João Palhinha (Exclusive): "Fulham miss Mitrovic. If I am the best midfielder in Prem? No, Rodri is."

Exclusive interview by Alessandro Schiavone in Burnley

After the 2-2 draw at Turf Moor, Capital Football spoke exclusively to João Palhinha. Find below the Portuguese's words.

On why Burnley were allowed to cancel out a two-goal deficit: "I think we started to give them some step to try to take something from the game. After the first goal that we conceded Burnley started to believe. We could kill the game more earlier in the second-half but it didn't happen unfortunately. It's really tough for us to return at home with this result after what we did. In my opinion Fulham played really well but the victory didn't happen. But if we keep with the same focus and start taking the emotional control of the 90 minutes, we can soon get the victory that we want."

On whether Fulham were complacent after taking a 2-0 lead: "No, [we were not].  We had the control of the game even at the start of the second-half. It's really frustrating and disappointing [to draw] after what happened in the game. We need to put the head up and focus on the next game against Bournemouth in our home."

Chelsea loanee Armando Broja can certainly give Fulham a lift: "It's one more player to help us to meet our objectives, you know. I think he's a great reinforcement for us and I think he'll adapt quickly."

Replacing Mitrovic has been tough: "You know what Mitro did here. He's a player that all the teams, not just us, if every team had a player like him for sure they'd miss [if he left]. It's not easy to replace a player like Mitro because he built a big history here. We're missing him but the football is like that. We need to think of the players that we have and that's it."

Despite being flattered by all the accolades coming his way, Man City star Rodri remains the benchmark in Palhinha's position: "Rodri is a step higher than the other players in my opinion. But it's good that people like and respect me [because] it shows that my job here has been good. I just focus on the job inside the pitch to try to get wins for my team, hopefully starting with Bournemouth."

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