Head Coach Reaction

Tuesday 7 March 2017 22:55

Slaviša Jokanović was pleased with his side’s fighting spirit on Tuesday, but believes they should have claimed all three points.

Trailing to Tim Ream’s early own goal, Neeskens Kebano fired in a stunning equaliser, only for the officials to deem that his effort had not crossed the line.

Tom Cairney crashed home a dramatic goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time to earn Fulham a deserved point, but Jokanović was left thinking of what might have been.

“First of all I am really proud of how my team played football tonight,” he stated. “As we conceded one and scored two I believe we deserve three points.

“We had an accidental start, we scored an own goal then we scored a legal goal but the referee didn’t see this situation very well.

“Second half he probably missed one penalty for us and at the very end we found some kind of compensation and Tom Cairney scored a fantastic goal.

“We played all the football on the pitch tonight, we moved from one side to the other side, we created many chances. We won only one point but I believe my team deserve three tonight.”

Disbelief engulfed the stadium when Kebano’s wonder goal was not given, but Jokanović acknowledged that these things can happen in football.

“I cannot complain about the referee,” he said. “It’s a human error, you can make a mistake but it’s a very expensive mistake.

“And from my position I saw how the ball was moving, I was sure it was a legal goal. We checked after at half-time and it was a big mistake but that is part of the football too.

“I don’t know how to explain, I was sure the ball was past the line, and for some reason the assistant didn’t watch the situation very well.

“But I am really proud of my team, how we played football, how we fought with confidence, how we defended with the Fulham press. My team was really competitive, and we found this kind of compensation in the last moment of the game.”

Leeds arrived in SW6 sitting fourth in the Sky Bet Championship, but they struggled to cope with Fulham’s fluid football.

“It’s important that we play with confidence, that we play with our style,” Jokanović said. “We moved the ball, we created many chances, we shot 23 times and my team played with confidence.

“My team believed they can play very good football, today we played very well. Okay we scored two, well we scored three, the third to win the game at the end.

“In the end it’s an important goal, confidence is good and we keep going and push hard to keep fighting to be in the top-six.

“It’s not a question about entertaining football, I believe we did enough today to win the game, I don’t want to have possession of the ball for nothing.

“Our possession is for shots and in general we are one of the teams in the Championship who shoot more times. I believe we are a top team and this is the reason we want to play this type of game.

“Tom Cairney is a very important player for us, he did a fantastic job and he is probably one of the best in this competition.”

The draw extended Fulham’s unbeaten league run to six matches, with Jokanović hoping to make that seven at St James’ Park on Saturday.

“We have confidence for everything, we are going to try our style and try and dominate,” he explained. “Newcastle is a physical, very strong team and they will be looking to put the ball in behind us and run in the spaces behind our centre-backs.

“We are going to try to move the ball and create our chances.”