Head Coach Reaction

Saturday 3 February 2018 18:48

Slaviša Jokanović praised his side’s current run of good form, but the Head Coach cautioned his team that it’s not important where his team are in February and encouraged them to keep pushing themselves to get better.

Second-half goals from Lucas Piazon and Stefan Johansen led the Whites to victory over Nottingham Forest at Craven Cottage as Fulham continued their excellent run of form.

When asked how he felt about the team’s current winning streak, Jokanović responded: “Five wins in a row, and six straight wins at home—this is a positive sensation.

“We knew today wasn’t going to be an easy game for us and at the end my team showed quality, trust, and that they can play good football. We scored two goals and got three points, which is very important.”

The Head Coach credited his team’s spirit for their recent turnaround. “We believe we can play good football. We believe if we can support each other we can win the game,” the Head Coach said.

“This encourages me because it shows the team is ready for a fight, has fantastic spirit, and is ready to try and win the next game.

“We cannot compare this season to last season. It’s a different team now. We’ve definitely improved, but we’ve done nothing yet. Right now we’re fifth in the table. Other teams have done a better job so far and we have to be focused on the next game, that’s it.”

Still, Jokanović preached caution and wanted to make sure his team kept looking forward. “This fantastic day is behind us,” he said. “Bolton is a fantastic team and they just beat Bristol City, who are a top Championship team. So we must be ready for the next game.

“We are only thinking about the next game. It’s not important that in the beginning of February we are fifth. What’s important is the next game. That’s it.”

Aleksandar Mitrović made his Fulham debut today, and Jokanović spoke highly of the striker: “He showed he’s a strong man. He brings a physical presence to the pitch,” the Head Coach said.

“This is that extra quality we expect he can bring to our team.”

Jokanović also stressed that the entire team has worked hard, and that the three January signings were only adding onto an already strong base. “We brought three good players in and we expect they can help us. On the other hand, the team that started the season with us have also worked hard over the past months,” the Head Coach said.

“So we expect Targett, Christie, and Mitrović can push the whole team to be even stronger. You have to give credit to everyone in the squad. But I expect these three to be a great help to my team, and to help us win the next game.”

Late in the game, Marcus Bettinelli made two rapid-fire saves to preserve Fulham’s slender advantage. It was a pivotal moment in the match and the Head Coach was full of praise for his keeper. “Marcus is in great form right now, just like the rest of the team,” Jokanović said.

“Marcus made a fantastic save, and the other people around him helped to try and fix this problem. It was a great save and that’s it.”

“Now we are more confident,” Jokanović reflected. “We believe in ourselves and everything is going in a positive direction.