Scott Parker believes Aleksandar Mitrovic has turned the corner following a scoring spree for Serbia during the international break.
But that still doesn’t guarantee the Fulham striker a start against Aston Villa on Sunday.
The Whites head coach was delighted Mitrovic bagged five goals in three games to become Serbia’s all-time leading scorer, with 39 goals from 63 appearances.
Parker maintains that sooner or later the forward was going to find his shooting boots after a lean spell in the Premier League, where he’s scored just twice – and both in the same September defeat at Leeds.
But chances are he may yet be back on the bench at Villa Park.
“If his moment comes from a start or from the bench, I’d like to think he can replicate it and show what a good player he is,” Parker said.
“He’s been up and down. But what you see in midweek is the work he’s done in the last few weeks and he’s taken his chance.
“He’s always had the talent and a million percent (his Serbia goals) benefits us.
“This is a good platform for Mitro and he’s turned the corner a little bit in this international week.”
Parker played down a suggestion that Mitrovic found it easier to play for his country than in the Premier League.
“You could argue there’s more pressure playing for your country; but at times you have these (lean) spells,” Parker said.
“Often when forwards have a dip, they’re not in position to miss – he is.
“He’s not been happy with me (for leaving him out) and he’s not been happy with himself, but he’s taken his moment now.”