Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is hopeful summer signing Bobby Zamora can rise to the occasion against former club West Ham on Saturday.
The 27-year-old left the Hammers in a £6.3million deal which also saw Ghana defender John Pantsil arrive at Craven Cottage.
Zamora had to endure an injury-hit final season at Upton Park in which he scored just one goal and his departure went unmourned by the majority of Hammers fans.
Hodgson said: “It would be nice if he was thinking ‘I’ve got something to prove and with the talent I’ve got as a player I can do even more’.
“He has made a good impression so far. He is very keen to be here and keen to work. He is also interested in what we do here tactically.
“So far he has been very much the player I thought I was signing.”
A chance meeting with former West Ham manager Alan Curbishley, who quit earlier in the month and has been replaced by Gianfranco Zola, also reinforced Hodgson’s conviction that Zamora would justify his price tag.
He said: “It was an unprovoked comment when I met Alan recently. He asked how both Bobby and John were doing. He said they were not two players he was anxious to lose.
“The club had to get some money and had to sell some players – and these two were sellable. It wasn’t him pushing them out of the door.”
Curbishley resigned from his West Ham post claiming the board had sold players against his wishes and signed others behind his back.
Both sides suffered Carling Cup exits at the hands of Championship opposition in midweek, with Fulham losing 1-0 at Burnley and West Ham at Watford by the same scoreline.
Hodgson gave fringe men run-outs at Turf Moor but will revert to his preferred line-up with Zamora partnering Andrew Johnson up front.
New signing Dickson Etuhu will have to wait for a debut as the midfielder has not yet recovered from a thigh strain suffered shortly after his arrival from Sunderland.