Jokanovic defends tactical tweaks

by Dan on December 2, 2017

Slavisa Jokanovic refused to take the blame for Fulham’s derby defeat at Griffin Park – defending his decision to take on Brentford without a recognised striker and questioning referee Bobby Madeley’s decision to send off Denis Odoi.

The Serbian head coach dropped Rui Fonte and deployed Stefan Johansen as a false nine – with wingers Sheyi Ojo and Neeksens Kebano operating either side of him – and insisted that his gameplan was working when the Congolese winger put the Whites in front on 25 minutes.

I have played many times with a fake striker. This is not the first time and it’s probably not the last. This plan was working well. We stopped especially [Ryan] Woods from switching the ball from one side to the other.

Jokanovic felt Fulham’s approach had earned some real success and was disappointed with the straightforward way Brentford equaliser and, then, went in front. He was critical of the referee’s decision to show Odoi a second yellow after the makeshift centre back checked Ollie Watkins:

We played 45 minutes well. We started sloppy in the beginning of the second half. It’s easy to make an analysis of what happened – they scored an easy goal, we can avoid this kind of situation, and then after the second yellow card for Denis Odoi it started to be really complicated for us.

In one moment, we are thinking about avoiding this kind of situation and making some movement from the bench. But I cannot change all the players with one yellow card. At the end, the referee took this decision. It wasn’t a particularly strong challenge.

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