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Fulham defender Shaun Hutchinson got a pat on the back from his manager on Christmas Eve – not least because the centre back has fought back from a dreadful start at Fulham.

Hutchinson is lined up to face leaders Bournemouth later today having recovered from the shock to the system after his summer switch from Scottish Premier League to the Championship.

The 24-year-old had a debut to forget on opening day against Ipswich, and even a change of manager saw the former Motherwell player receive his marching orders during Symons’ first game in charge.

But he got a second chance after the 5-0 debacle against Watford, with Fulham winning the next three along with two clean sheets.

The manager explained: “It’s different in the SPL, and like a lot of players, it’s taken time for him to acclimatise.

“I had Shaun in the office this morning just to chat, and it’s not so much me that’s turned him around: he’s done it himself.

“He’s worked very hard, and he’s one of those low maintenance players that you know want to play. He wasn’t in the team, but he just got one with his job in training. He’s taken his chance when it came along, and full credit to him.

“In my first game he got sent off before half time against Blackburn; not the greatest of starts, but he’s deserved his chance over the last three games.”