Fulham boss Chris Coleman insists his decision to axe Zesh Rehman was only a temporary measure and is backing the defender to reclaim his place in the team.

Rehman was dropped after the 4-1 midweek thrashing by Arsenal at Highbury with USA international Carlos Bocanegra partnering Zat Knight at centre-back for Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Everton.

The 21-year-old even failed to win a place on the bench against the Toffees and Coleman revealed he would also have replaced Knight, 25, had injury not robbed him of veteran Frenchman Alain Goma.

“Zesh is a young boy and he will come again. I took him out to protect him,” said the Fulham manager, who hopes to sign two more players before the transfer window closes on Wednesday. If I’d had another centre-back, I’d probably have done the same with Zat because he is just a young lad as well. But I’m glad I didn’t take himout because he gave an accomplished display.

“That’s what we’ve come to expect from him. All he has to do is win his headers and be neat and tidy. I’m not asking him to do anything else and in the second half against Everton he was a lot better.”