Loftus-Cheek’s woes ‘certainly not a confidence issue’

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is not short on confidence despite squandering several chances in the goalless draw against West Ham, according to Fulham boss Scott Parker.

The Whites’ on-loan Chelsea midfielder has started each of Fulham’s past seven Premier League matches – bar the loss against his parent club – while captain Tom Cairney remains sidelined with injury.

All five of Loftus-Cheek’s shots against the Hammers were either blocked or off-target, including a glorious opportunity when he was sent through one-on-one with keeper Lukasz Fabianski but could only find the side netting.

Nevertheless, Parker praised the 25-year-old.

“You’ve just seen a performance from the boy that was nothing short of incredible,” the former Fulham and Chelsea midfielder said.

“I thought he was fantastic, taking us up the pitch, controlling the ball – his whole game.

“I understand he missed a couple of chances. But, again, this is a young player that is developing like a lot of these players in the team.”

It is an improvement that pleases Parker, after Loftus-Cheek’s inconsistent start to the season saw him dipping in and out of the starting 11.

“Do I see a progression? A million per cent, I do,” added Parker.

“When you’ve got young players, there are always levels you need to get to.

“Ruben’s the first to understand [that he needs to] add some goals to his game. That’s where he needs to be.

“It’s certainly not a confidence issue.”