BOSS Scott Parker feels Emiliano Marcondes has been victim of Cherries' fine recent form, admitting the past few weeks have been "difficult" for the Dane.

Marcondes arrived as a free agent in the summer, following his departure from Brentford.

In doing so, the 26-year-old became Parker's first signing as Cherries boss.

And the midfielder played a key role during the early weeks of the campaign, starting six of Cherries' first seven games of the season, coming on as a first-half substitute in the other.

Marcondes also scored Cherries' first Championship goal of the campaign, during the 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion.

But with the squad strengthening around him, Marcondes has seen his chances completely dry up since last month's international break.

The Hvidovre-born talent has been an unused substitute in each of Cherries' past six matches, not playing a minute since the 0-0 draw at Hull City in August with the likes of Ben Pearson, Jefferson Lerma and Philip Billing nailing down starting spots, while Ryan Christie has also operated centrally at times.

In that spell, Cherries moved top of the Championship table with five wins and a draw.

Asked about Marcondes's recent lack of game-time, Parker told the Daily Echo: "It’s been difficult for Emi. You win games and the team are in a good place and it’s hard to change things.

"Emi’s in that situation at this present moment in time, he started the season very, very well. Was a large contributing factor into that.

"I felt the time was right when he came out and sometimes when you bring someone out, you put someone in and in this squad at the moment, you give up a shirt and you give someone else the opportunity, they’ve got the capability and the quality to grab it really.

"I suppose that’s what’s happened at the moment."

Marcondes may get a chance to feature again this weekend. Jefferson Lerma did not return back to the UK until after finishing international duty with Colombia, which included a game against Ecuador late on Thursday evening, putting his participation at Bristol City tomorrow in serious doubt.

"As disappointed as I’m sure Emi is and as frustrated as he is at the moment, an unused sub for the last six games, that’s his predicament," said Parker.

"I often say that to players - this is your situation, nothing can happen between now and whenever. What’s vitally important is that you don’t make your situation worse than what it already is – keep working hard, going around and doing the same things and when you get your opportunity like someone else had, you try and take it.

"That’s exactly where Emi is at this present moment in time really."