FOR Scott Parker’s path into football management, few would have played a closer and more significant role than current Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic.

Parker was the Serb’s captain at the end of his playing career for Fulham between 2015-17, before he returned under his stewardship as a first team coach following a spell with Tottenham’s academy.

Linking up with his former gaffer in July 2018, Jokanovic gave Parker the opportunity to expand on the leadership role he had already seen the skipper exhibit as part of a backroom setup, but not in an academy like at Spurs – this was the real Premier League deal.

Bournemouth Echo: Slavisa Jokanovic and Scott Parker at Fulham (Pic: PA)Slavisa Jokanovic and Scott Parker at Fulham (Pic: PA)

However, Jokanovic was dismissed in November that year and Parker was kept on as title-winner Claudio Ranieri was appointed in his place, the man the current Cherries head coach would then go on to replace just months later.

After a couple of years managing in Qatar, Jokanovic has returned with England with the Blades and did battle with his old friend and colleague for a first time, Parker coming out on top.

Speaking after the 2-1 defeat to Cherries, Jokanovic revealed that he isn’t shocked by the impact his ex-assistant is making: “He is doing very well. I cannot be surprised. He was a fantastic football player.

“He started coaching and made a really good job. His team play good football. This is my observation. It is a very good start of the season for Bournemouth and from another side he has previous experience.

Bournemouth Echo: Scott Parker won the Championship playoffs as manager of Fulham (Pic: PA)Scott Parker won the Championship playoffs as manager of Fulham (Pic: PA)

“I believe a bright future is ahead of him. I believe right now he is a very good coach and in the future he will be better, 100 per cent.”

A bright future ahead indeed, Parker’s start has already been bright enough to see that.

His first full season as a manager resulted in promotion from the Championship via the playoffs, with left-back Joe Bryan netting a superb brace that included a 40-yard free-kick at Wembley.

Albeit suffering relegation again the next campaign, Parker’s start to his second full-time job as gaffer couldn’t be much better, topping the table and unbeaten in 11 as Cherries look to seal passage back to the promised land.

Bournemouth Echo: Cherries head coach Scott Parker (Pic: PA)Cherries head coach Scott Parker (Pic: PA)

And Cherries fans will be more than pleased to hear the Serb’s assessment of their head coach’s character.

He added: “In general, he was a really loyal guy as a player in my time when I was coaching him.

“He was really loyal and a good assistant when he worked with me and my staff. He now chose a different way. I predicted to him and explained to him before what will happen.

“Anyway, it’s part of the life, he has his job, I have my job. I am really hurt because I didn’t find on Saturday any way to win against his team.

“But we will see next time, I expect I will be more successful.”