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Slavisa Jokanovic feels the return of Lucas Piazon will be pivotal in Fulham’s push for promotion.

The Brazilian forward celebrated his birthday with his first goal following a five month injury lay-off to give the Whites breathing space against Burton Albion on Saturday – and his intelligence as an inverted winger was one of the crucial reasons why the home side overwhelmed Nigel Clough’s men. Piazon, who looked far sharper at Craven Cottage than he had in 70 minutes at the Riverside Stadium last week, has had to deal with a long spell on the sidelines for the second season in a row after breaking his leg at Leeds in August.

Jokanovic is delighted that the 24 year-old has returned to first team duty well ahead of schedule and believes Piazon could present a real threat to Championship opponents in the final third. He told GetWestLondon following final whistle on Saturday:

We expect he can help us. At the beginning of this season he started well, then unfortunately he had this accident. But he’s shown great desire to push hard and he has started to compete in the last few games and his reaction has been very good. I expect he will be important for us like last season when he did a great job for us.

Piazon scored six goals in 33 appearances as Fulham narrowly missed out on getting to Wembley via the play-offs last season and he already has three goals in nine appearances.