Fulham boss Parker backs ‘exceptional’ Loftus-Cheek

Ruben Loftus-Cheek got his fair share of criticism from Fulham fans over the last two games – but Scott Parker insists he was “exceptional” against Liverpool on Sunday.

The Chelsea loanee was withdrawn before the end of his second match in a row. However, Whites boss Parker believes Loftus-Cheek is “getting there” when it comes to full fitness and maximum impact.

“I thought Ruben was exceptional against Liverpool,” he said.

“In the first 45 minutes he was one of the best players on the pitch and he showed a real quality in him.

“He’s not had a lot of games, so he’s getting back up to speed in how quickly the games come (in order to) have an impact.

“He’s now playing week in week out in the Premier League, and I see someone getting there.”

Recovery is at a premium with Fulham facing three games in seven days.

Following on from the Liverpool draw, it’s Brighton on Wednesday night, and then a trip to Newcastle on Saturday.

“It’s not ideal,” Parker said.

“Monday was a recovery day. Tuesday was the first day on grass and it’s very different to a normal game prep day – and they’ve certainly got a bit in them from Sunday’s game.

“We were at an hotel on Tuesday. We play Brighton, we recover, and we travel.

“We’ll have meetings; a video to explain exactly what we need to do, and we’ll prepare, albeit at a lower level. We have to adapt.”