Fulham boss Mark Hughes admits Bobby Zamora’s injury has left a ‘big onus’ on Moussa Dembele.
The £5million summer signing from AZ Alkmaar notched a brace against Wolves on Saturday to hand the unbeaten Cottagers their first victory of the top-flight campaign.
His goals came after England striker Zamora suffered a break just above his right ankle in the first period, which will cause an expected four months lay-off.
With fellow striker Andy Johnson also several weeks from a first-team return following his battle with a knee injury, Hughes admits the pressure is on Dembele to fill the goal-scoring void.
And while the Cottagers boss concedes it will be a ‘big ask’, he believes the Belgium international will get good support from his team-mates.
He said: “We hope Moussa can get the goals – there’s a big onus on him now that Bobby’s gone.
“But it’s a big ask, you can’t just hang a hat on Moussa. He’ll get good support from the guys around him and that will help him become the success we think he will be.
“The beauty of Moussa is that he can play in a number of positions.
“That’s the attraction from my point of view because I like players who have that flexibility.”
Hughes was aware of the 23-year-old when he was Manchester City manager and reacted immediately when he learnt of his availability over the summer.
“Moussa is always very positive, everything he does has a positive slant on it. That’s the key to the way he plays,” he said.
“He can drive the game and is an intelligent footballer.
“I kept track of him because I’ve always been impressed with him.
“When it was flagged up that he was in the last year of his contract and likely to be sold, we moved quickly.”