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Slavisa Jokanovic has praised Lucas Piazon’s strength of character for overcoming a testing start to his loan spell at Fulham and hailed the Brazilian forward as one of the club’s most ‘important’ players.

The Serbian head coach told the rest of Fulham’s fringe players to learn from Piazon’s attitude after he knuckled down in training having been overlooked during the early weeks of his time at Craven Cottage having joined the Whites on loan from local rivals Chelsea on the final day of the summer transfer window. Jokanovic hinted that has been so impressed by the desire and form of the 22 year-old that he is seriously considering extending Piazon’s loan until the end of the season.

Lucas Piazon, in the last few games, has started to be a very important player for us. He is very fast and has experience playing in this competition. He played 23 games for Reading last season, so he didn’t need a lot of time to adapt himself. We are happy with what he has offered in the last few games.

He stayed with us during the international break, when we are not working with a complete team. Step by step, without any game, we try to detect what these players can offer us, how they can help us. After some kind of experience working with him, we detect he’s a player who can give us a different thing from what we have in our squad.

Generally, his case can encourage other people who still don’t have enough minutes or participate so much. Show the right character and confidence, push hard and wait for the right chance. This competition is tough and long, and I’m sure some players not in my first plan now will soon be in this situation. They have to understand to be professional and push hard, and be ready when they get a chance.

Piazon’s impressive performances on the training ground has gradually began to translate into eye-catching displays in the first team. The former Sao Paulo forward has started each of Fulham’s last fixtures, having previously had to prove his worth in the EFL Cup, and scored in the impressive victories over Barnsley and Huddersfield.