Kit Symons says Matt Smith still has a future at Fulham despite being sent out on loan this week.
The former Leeds United striker has endured a poor start to his career at Craven Cottage since the move from Elland Road in August.
Smith was sent off on his full debut against Reading and has featured just twice off the bench since.
The 25-year-old has been given the green light to join Bristol City until January, but boss Symons says he can still force his way back into his plans.
He said: “I feel for him because he’s not really had an opportunity. He started against Reading and was sent-off, which set him back a bit.
“Since I’ve taken over he’s not really had much of a go. I’ve spoken to him several times about it.
“He’s a fantastic pro, a good lad and a very good player. Just because he’s not featuring at the moment doesn’t mean he won’t do in the future.
“It’s good for him to get game time and he can put me under pressure if he does really well to bring him back in and gain a place within the squad.”