Scott Parker has paid tribute to Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s desire and attitude in rebuilding his career at relegation-threatened Fulham.
The on-loan Chelsea midfielder has played an instrumental role in Fulham’s recent revival, which has seen them move to within three points of safety.
Unbeaten in four, Parker’s side go to Crystal Palace, one of Loftus-Cheek’s former clubs, on Sunday looking to continue their excellent run.
On-loan midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has impressed for Fulham in their relegation battle
Fulham boss Scott Parker has hailed the impact of Loftus-Cheek during his time at the club
Loftus-Cheek made 25 appearances in a season-long loan spell at Palace three years ago and earned a World Cup spot off the back of an impressive campaign.
The 25-year-old suffered a devastating achilles injury on his return to Chelsea which kept him out for 10 months.
He fought back to full fitness but struggled for regular game time, before joining Fulham in October.
‘From when he first came into the building you could sense someone a little bit weary and someone who was a little bit down,’ Parker said.
‘He had been out for an extremely long time and had not played a lot of football. I’ve just seen someone grow, grow and grow into the player who we’ve all seen.
Loftus-Cheek in action during Fulham’s game against Sheffield United last weekend
Fulham will hope to close the gap on Newcastle in 17th with victory over Crystal Palace
‘There’s still loads to come but this is a player at this moment in time who, given moments in games, can take the game by the scruff of the neck and be that powerful, technically-gifted midfield player.’
Upwardly mobile Fulham have collected eight points from their last four games and Parker believes the recent turnaround has a lot to do with the form of Loftus Cheek.
‘I think he’s grown in confidence. I think the environment and the work he’s done in this short space of time has been a credit to him,’ he explained.
‘I’ve been very, very pleased with him and he’s going in the right direction.’