Head Coach Reaction

Tuesday 22 August 2017 22:20

Slaviša Jokanović was left frustrated by his side’s final product in their Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Bristol Rovers.

The League One outfit defended admirably at Craven Cottage to earn a 1-0 win, meaning Fulham’s run in the competition came to a premature end.

“Yes, it’s disappointing,” Jokanović admitted. “We didn’t play a good enough game, we didn’t create enough clear chances.  

“With the chances we did create, we weren’t clinical enough. We wanted to progress in this competition, but we didn’t do it.

“All we can do now is rest, then work hard and prepare for the challenge that’s in front of us.”

As he did for the First Round win at Wycombe Wanderers, Jokanović made wholesale changes to his side, but felt the XI he named was strong enough to win the match.

“I had a similar team and used similar players in the first League Cup game,” he explained. “We played well in the first game.

“I used some new players, some players who needed minutes in the competition. I tested some players too. I used this night to win the game, to progress in this competition with some different players.

“This is our sixth game in 18 days, something like this. I am disappointed, I must think about this night and analyse what we didn’t do well enough, and I must think about the game that’s immediately in front of us.”

The fixture in question is Ipswich Town away on Saturday. Mick McCarthy’s men have won all four of their league outings so far, and Jokanović knows his side will need to up their game at Portman Road.

“The players must defend the Fulham crest,” he stated. “This is enough motivation for them.

“We haven’t started in the way we wanted, and in front of us is a chance for us to show something different and find a better level, and do everything to try and enjoy a first victory.

“We can work hard and improve our level. We know we are not at our best level and we must push hard to be closer to our best level.

“We know we can do better, and we must push harder still to do that.”