Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque is in line for a recall against Blackburn on Saturday after showing sufficient remorse for last weekend’s tantrum.
Malbranque stormed out of Craven Cottage after discovering he had not even won a place on the bench against Everton, a match Fulham won 2-0 to guarantee their Barclays Premiership survival.
The French playmaker was paying the price for another dip in form in what has been a disappointing season for the 25-year-old and his reaction raised doubts over his future at the club.
But his appearance in the dressing room during Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat by Newcastle – he had been omitted once again – and his attitude in training have persuaded boss Chris Coleman last weekend’s drama would not be repeated.
He said: “Steed was in the team meeting on Wednesday before the game even though he knew on Tuesday he wouldn’t be in the squad. I wasn’t happy with his reaction to being dropped against Everton.
“But on Wednesday he was shaking everyone’s hand and came in to see the lads at half-time. He walked into training with a smile on his face and that’s important. He’s got his head down and worked hard this week.
“Steed has a big future with us and he could be back in the squad for Saturday. He’s a tremendously gifted player who can dismantle teams on his own – when he’s at 100%.”
Coleman explained the reasons for Malbranque’s dip in form but declared he is only one of a number of players who have not been pulling their weight at Craven Cottage this season.
He said: “It has been hard for Steed. He missed most of pre-season with an injury, then got back and did his ankle at Christmas.
“His wife has given birth and I know from experience that when your first child comes along it turns your world upside down.
“People don’t see that – they just see him out on the pitch for 90 minutes. He will be the first to hold his hand up and say he hasn’t been the same as last season. But he’s not the only one.
“There have been one or two players making too many excuses as far as I’m concerned. But I’ll sort that out in the summer.”