Slaviša Jokanović described his team’s performance in their 3-0 victory over Sheffield United as “a credit” to his players and how much work they’ve been putting in during the past few weeks.
Fulham were a class above on the night and a first-half brace from Aleksandar Mitrović and a 61st-minute goal from Tom Cairney were enough to ensure the Whites ran out as comfortable victors.
“It’s a credit to the players, they played very good football,” the Head Coach said.
“It’s not easy to play against Sheffield United. They are a solid and strong team. But in the end we adapted ourselves. We controlled the situation and the team managed themselves, in the end, in a perfect way.”
When he was asked about Mitrović, the Head Coach emphasised that, as good as his striker was, there’s still more to come from the 23-year old. “He’s a quality player,” Jokanović said.
“He’s started well for us. He’s a proper striker. He scored two goals, but he also held up the ball and worked well off the ball too. I’ve said it before. He’s a great addition for us, but I expect he can be even better in the games we have ahead of us.
“He brings us a different option,” the Head Coach continued. “He offers quality to myself, his teammates, and the Fulham supporters too.
“We must be satisfied with him at this juncture. But we still have 10 games ahead of us, and we expect he’ll be still better in those games than he has been this past month.”
But Jokanović wanted to reiterate that his whole squad was responsible for this great form, not just his red-hot striker. “If we’re talking about Mitrović, we have to talk about all the players,” he said.
“Matt Targett has done a great job for us. Cyrus Christie is another who pushes us all to be better. These are three players who give us an extra level. This is without even talking about Tim Ream, Kevin McDonald, Stefan Johansen or Tom Cairney.
“I can’t forget any of the players,” Jokanović said. “I can only use 11 players in the game, but it’s really important work that we do altogether during the week.”
For Jokanović, an incremental approach is the best way to head into the final part of the season. “We’re trying to be mentally strong,” he said, “always focusing on the next step, and after that the next step, and then the next step and the next step. That’s it.
“We’re playing well. But if we don’t play well it’s still important to win the games.”
In the end, the Head Coach sounded a triumphant note, noting the squad’s fearless nature. “We are playing with confidence,” he said. “We know we can beat every Championship team.”