Slavisa Jokanovic said he dropped David Button ‘to try and find a different solution’ to Fulham’s defensive woes following last weekend’s defeat at the hands of Brentford.

Button endured a difficult return to Griffin Park, allowing Sergi Canos’ deflected strike to slip under his body and hand his former side a precious equaliser at a time when Fulham were dominating the west London derby. The former Tottenham goalkeeper, who was axed after a couple of catastrophic errors at Derby towards the end of last season, was replaced by Marcus Bettinelli, who kept a clean sheet in Fulham’s narrow win over struggling Birmingham City yesterday.

Jokanovic told the press after the final whistle that picked the best option to help Fulham return to winning ways and that he has no qualms about the impact his decision will have on the benched Button:

It was time to try a different solution for us. I did something similar last season. Having a choice of goalkeeper is good for us. My job is to choice what I believe is better in different situations for my team.

We believe Marcus Bettinelli can improve in his distribution. Bettinelli didn’t have many jobs to do today, Against another team David Button can do a great job for us, he’s a great lad, a professional and he has to fight for his job. All our players, not just the goalkeepers, have to stay professional and fight [for a place in the starting line-up].

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Marcus Bettinelli was ‘absolutely buzzing’ after keeping a clean sheet on his return to the Fulham first team as the Whites beat Birmingham to move into the top half of the Championship yesterday.

The Fulham academy graduate has waited four months for a taste of first team action but after Slavisa Jokanovic axed David Button following his mistake at former club Brentford in last weekend’s derby defeat, Bettinelli stepped in to help secure Fulham’s third win in four games. The popular goalkeeper paid tribute to an excellent defensive display when he spoke with FulhamFCTV after the final whistle:

I’ve got to compliment the lads today. Defensively there were absolutely terrific and literally left me with nothing to do. I don’t really think they had too many shots on target. Personally, I’m absolutely over the moon. I’ve waited a long time for my chance again this season and I’m happy to back in. Absolutely buzzing with the clean sheet.

Bettinelli also had more than a few words for the Fulham fans, with whom he enjoys a special affinity after coming through the club’s youth set-up as a teenager.

The fans have been terrific with me ever since I came in under Magath. Even when I made a couple of bad kicks today, I could still here them shouting my name. I can only try to repay them by coming out and trying my best here and show the passion. They come here and to the away games, paying their money to watch us play and – not just me – everyone in the dressing room really appreciates their support. We know how hard it is when the team’s not doing well, not scoring goals. Personally, I can’t thank them enough. They’ve always supported, even when I’ve not been playing. I’m just glad that we got the clean sheet today.

The goalkeeper was delighted that Fulham managed to put the Griffin Park setback behind him at the first time of asking – and hopes the Whites can score more goals in the weeks ahead.

I’ve been in that dressing room after Brentford away and lost a couple of times. It’s not a nice place to be. We know how much that game means to the fans. The lads were gutted. We picked ourselves up this week, training’s been lively and I thought going forward we were a lot better. I know we only scored the one goal, but we created a lot of chances, Stocko made a couple of really good saves and another day we could have walked away with a four or five-nil.

Everyone knows in that dressing room what we are capable of. We just haven’t shown that to our full potential yet, but it’s a long season. We’re going to give it a good go now, over the Christmas period there’s a lot of games coming up. We’ve got Sunderland away next and hopefully we can get another three points. We are scary going forward, we’ve got lots of good players and hopefully we can get a few more goals.

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The Sun’s silly season starts early when it comes to Spurs and Ryan Sessegnon

December 10, 2017

Tweet Tottenham’s reputed interest in Ryan Sessegnon has made the sports section of the Sun for the third time in the last month. The tabloid seems even keener to secure a move to north London for Fulham’s young starlet than Daniel Levy, as Sarah noted recently, but this piece of ‘breaking news’ from Mike McGrath […]

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Slavisa Jokanovic: 100 not out

December 10, 2017

Tweet There’s been an awful lot written about Slavisa Jokanovic over the past couple of weeks. Some of the hyberbole following last week’s defeat to Brentford about how the Serbian was a few results away from the exit door seemed laughable at that time and, as I’ve written before, the brickbats the Fulham head coach […]

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Fulham 1-0 Birmingham City: Player ratings

December 9, 2017

Tweet Not the most convincing of performances from Fulham, but grinding out results is what helps sides climb the Championship table. Back-to-back home wins, as well as consecutive clean sheets at Craven Cottage, are not to sniffed at – however nervy they made us feel. Marcus Bettinelli: Slavisa Jokanovic finally made the change a vocal section […]

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Jokanovic praises ‘solid’ Fulham defence

December 9, 2017

Tweet Slavisa Jokanovic praised his ‘really solid’ Fulham defence after a second successive home clean sheet secured three points against struggling Birmingham City at Craven Cottage this afternoon. The Whites went in front just before the quarter of an hour mark when Sheyi Ojo finished a fine cross from Neeskens Kebano and had to rely […]

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Ojo lifts Fulham into top half

December 9, 2017

Tweet This wasn’t a vintage Fulham performance, but after the mess Slavisa Jokanovic’s side created for themselves by trying to pass their way around stubborn opposition at Griffin Park last weekend, the Serbian won’t be too perturbed that his charges swapped style for steel. The home side would have wanted to build on Sheyi Ojo’s […]

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Jokanovic won’t be underestimating Blues

December 8, 2017

Tweet Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic says he won’t be underestimating Saturday’s visitors Birmingham City despite the injury-hit Blues languishing in the Championship relegation zone as the Whites seek to bounce back from last week’s derby defeat. Jokanovic is desperate to deliver a more complete performance than the one his side served up at Griffin […]

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Cairney: ‘I love playing football at Fulham’

December 8, 2017

Tweet Tom Cairney used an interview with the Evening Standard this afternoon to insist he was loving playing his football at Craven Cottage and distanced himself from rumours linking him with a move to Newcastle United during the January transfer window. The Fulham captain, who has recently recovered from a serious knee injury to return […]

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Why sacking Slav isn’t the answer

December 7, 2017

Tweet The loss at Brentford was tough to take. In truth, it was the toughest to take of the season so far for me, given that it was against Brentford and that the substitutions and tactics seemed bizarre at best. The current frustration from Fulham fans is obvious with so many people taking to Twitter […]

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