‘Brilliant’ Loftus-Cheek praised after Fulham defeat

Scott Parker has praised midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who he says is firmly in his plans and will continue to improve at Fulham this season.

The Chelsea loanee was left out of the starting line-up for the third consecutive Premier League match, but came on against Everton to earn a penalty and score his first goal for the club.

It was an impactful half-hour display and impressed the Whites boss.

“I thought he was brilliant,” Parker said.

“Ruben came in and we’ve worked really hard together, in terms of the information I’m trying to give him and how he can have a big impact on the pitch.

“Sometimes I feel as if Ruben has a tendency for games to drift by him, and today was everything that we spoke about with him.

“He came on and made a real difference. He looked every bit of a top, top player.

“He got the ball, was brave, scored a goal, got in the box, and was dynamic in between the lines.”

The Whites’ only league win so far this term came against West Brom – a match that Loftus-Cheek sat out entirely – but Parker reiterated that the 24-year-old remains very much part of his plans for the months ahead.

Parker added: “He’s got a real ability and he’ll be big for us this year. He needs to keep working on it and keep listening to what we’re saying.

“No doubt he’ll keep improving like we’ve seen today.”