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Fulham hope Emerson Hyndman is being protected from the club’s relegation battle for his own good.

The 19-year-old Texan won a first senior cap in September, but the Whites gaffer believes the ugly scrum at the foot of the Championship table would do neither club nor the slight 5ft 7ins player much good right now.

“It’s a bad moment for him and a bad moment for us,” said Slavisa Jokanovic.

“He’s 19-year-old; we assess him constantly, and I’m very sure he’s going to have a future.

“He has a great potential, but where we are right now.

“He needs more help and we’re in the position where the team can’t help him enough. We need to find a more comfortable situation for the team and for him.”

The Whites academy graduate made his debut last season, but a broken collar bone restricted first team appearances to just 11.

He’s on the same number now, but his last outing was as sub for the final six minutes in the 3-1 win at QPR on February 13, even though he was an unused benchman against Bristol City on Saturday.

Hyndman has also yet to sign a new contract with the current one running out at the end of the season.

Even so, Jokanovic harbours hopes of persuading the midfielder to stay

“He may have played only 11 games for Fulham but I expect he’s going to play 500 more over the next 17 years.

“He’s going to be an important player for us,” he added.