Fulham defender Brede Hangeland reckons Bobby Zamora is raring to go after making a positive return from injury.
Zamora came off the bench in the 67th minute of Sunday’s FA Cup defeat by Bolton to make his first appearance since breaking his leg against Wolves five months ago.
Zamora was unable to prevent the Cottagers losing 1-0 to their Premier League rivals but his cameo offered some encouragement for Mark Hughes’ men.
Hangeland felt Zamora did not hold back, showing he has fully recovered from his injury, and believes his return will be a major boost as Fulham aim to climb away from danger and into the top half.
“It was great to have him back and everyone knows how important he is to the team,” Hangeland told the club’s official website.
“He’s been out for five months, which is a long time, so it was a big moment for him. I thought he did really well and I’m sure he will be pleased to be back in action again, despite the result.
He looked focused and there weren’t any signs that he had been away for the time he had. Sometimes when a player makes a comeback from a long injury he can be a little cautious, and rightly so. But Bobby didn’t have that.
“He won some important challenges, held the ball up well and got into a couple of dangerous positions. He’s had a difficult time, but he can put that all behind him now and enjoy what will hopefully be a better time.”
Zamora was handed his England debut last August on the back of a 19-goal tally last season, and the 30-year-old had scored once in four league games before his untimely injury.
The former West Ham and Tottenham striker now has 11 games to make an impact before the summer, and help push Fulham further up the table having climbed to 12th, four points clear of the drop zone.
“We have been on a good run of form lately, so this was a disappointing result for us,” added Hangeland.
“We have a lot of football to play in the league, and Bobby’s return is a massive boost for us in terms of helping to achieve our goal of finishing in the top half of the table.
“You want to have your best players fit and firing, and Bobby is one of them. I’m sure he will be determined to play his part throughout the remainder of the season.
“It’s exciting to have him in contention again and his goals and general play will be important. We’re out of the Cup, so the league is our priority now.”