Fulham promoted to Premier League after 3-0 win over Preston
Fulham has been promoted back into the Premier League after beating Preston 3-0.
The side took the Sky Bet Championship by storm this season before securing promotion in the home game on Tuesday with four games remaining.
It is the club’s third promotion in five seasons, with both of their previous top-flight campaigns ending in relegation.The Marco Silva-led club returns to the big league with four matches to spare following the 19 April victory at Craven Cottage.
Guy Whittingham saluted Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic for ending his reign as the last man to score 40 goals in an English league season following Tuesday's clash.
But he believes Mitrovic will be even happier with promotion.
Mitrovic scored twice against Preston to reach the magical landmark last achieved when Whittingham went on to notch 42 for Portsmouth in 1992-93.
He helped win brought with it promotion to the Premier League, continuing Fulham’s yo-yo run and seeing them go one better than Whittingham’s team almost 30 years ago, who remarkably missed out on goals scored despite his exploits.
“Fond memories obviously, but the lasting memory was the disappointment of not winning promotion,” Whittingham said.
“That was the closest I got to a promotion, they come around very rarely.”
Fulham have won 26 matches and scored 98 goals so far this season, boasting a goal difference of 30 more than second-placed Bournemouth.
However, the Cottagers have been a yo-yo club in recent years, and Silva admitted the challenge of staying in the Premier League is difficult.
“A nice word yo-yo team, a good nickname,” the Fulham boss added. “The challenge is huge definitely.
“We have to be really positive, we have to have desire and ambition.
“Now we celebrate and get the job done in the next four games.”
Preston manager Ryan Lowe offered his congratulations, saying: “First and foremost congratulations to Fulham.
“They have been a fantastic outfit all season, they have some fantastic players and play an excellent brand of football.
“Secondly, I’m frustrated. I thought we could have scored in the first five minutes and then maybe the game changes a little bit, but you can’t give a team like Fulham opportunities to score like we did, hence it cost us the 3-0 scoreline at half-time.”