Aleksandar Mitrovic is getting back to his best, says Scott Parker.
The Fulham striker was brought off the bench in the 0-0 draw with Brighton for another cameo, and the head coach thinks using him sparingly over the past seven Premier League games was the best thing that could have happened to an out-of-form player.
“Aleks has had a dip in form,” said Parker.
“Internationally, he missed a penalty (that cost Serbia a place at the European Championships).
“But I thought he was superb when he came on against Brighton and I think it’s taken that release, that pressure out of a player.
“I played football for a long time and I understand those stresses, so taking him out of the arena and giving him some oxygen has helped.
“Against Brighton he was free. He had an energy about him and no weight. Over the last few weeks, I think we’re getting to that place (where he’s at his best).”
Fulham face their second six-pointer of the week, at West Brom with no new injury concerns and are boosted by the return of in-form wing-back Antonee Robinson following suspension.
Parker comes up against Sam Allardyce, a manager who sold him twice in his playing career – once without seeing him play, when both were at Newcastle.
Parker holds no grudges, but is hoping Manchester City’s 5-0 demolition of Albion on Tuesday gives his side the edge.
“He sold me at Newcastle without looking at me, and again at West Ham,” Parker said.
“West Brom suffered a heavy defeat, although a world class side like Man City can do that to anyone.
“Can we take advantage? Maybe there’s a slight thing there, but Sam and West Brom understand the importance of the game as do we.”
Reports suggesting Jean Michel-Seri is on the verge of a loan move to Bordeaux are jumping the gun, according to Parker.
He said: “There’s a possibility of Mika leaving, but the last time I heard that wasn’t imminent.”