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Fulham's outcast World Cup hero 'enjoying his football'

Bryan Ruiz scored his first goal of the season for Fulham in their League Cup victory over Doncaster Rovers.

The 29-year-old Costa Rica captain was set to leave Craven Cottage during the summer, but with a move failing to materialise, vowed to play his part in helping his employers back into the Premier League.

He made his first appearance of the season as a starting figure in caretaker manager Kit Symons’ first game in charge, playing 73 minutes in the Cottagers 1-0 hoe defeat to Blackburn.

And he was rewarded with a second start in as many games when he lasted 81 minutes of Fulham’s 2-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers in Tuesday’s League Cup third round tie.

Netting the opening goal of the game, Ruiz was of vital importance as the Cottagers registered just their second win of the season, and Symons was delighted to have his faith in the player rewarded with a stellar performance.

Speaking to fulhamfc.com, Symons revealed that Ruiz was in a good frame of mind, enjoying his football at Craven Cottage.

The caretaker boss said: “He’s enjoying his football. After training yesterday, Bryan, Hugo Rodallega and Fernando Amorebieta, we couldn’t get them in.

“They were still outside, it was a lovely day in the sunshine, playing keep-ups between them, so I was torn between telling them to rest their legs and telling them ‘enjoy yourselves boys, it’s lovely to see you with a smile on your face kicking a ball about.’

“Bryan scored a very good goal tonight so that will please him and give him confidence, and it was a good, well worked goal as well.”

Having lost a majority of their first-team squad during the summer transfer window, Fulham can count themselves lucky to have kept hold of Ruiz - who had no shortage of suitors following his two-goal tally at the World Cup.

On his day he is one of the best players in the Championship, and Symons is delighted that he wants to play for the Cottagers.

“I know how good he is. He’s just come back from playing for Costa Rica so we knew he was match fit so there were no issues along those lines. I spoke to him first to gage his frame of mind and he was very positive so it was quite an easy decision to make [to play him].”

Fulham fans will be hoping that Ruiz continues his good form into the Championship season, with a first league win of the season still eluding the West London club.

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