Sakari Matilla says Slavisa Jokanovic wants to shed Fulham’s nice image and make his new side meaner and tougher to beat.
The new Fulham head coach has told his players he wants them to more combative and aggressive in the tackle to try and rid his team of their woeful defensive record that is one of the worst in the Championship. The signs of progress in that regard were evident in a narrow defeat by Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday – although another thing that shone through was Jokanovic’s hatred of losing.
Amongst several changes from the 4-1 win over Rotherham, the Serbian handed Matilla a first league start since his August move from Aalesunds and the Finnish international, playing as a defensive midfielder, certainly made Fulham far tougher to play through.
He has told us we need to be more aggressive when defending and be tougher. I think we showed a little bit of it (against Wednesday) but we also need to be faster when we go forward. We need to keep on doing the things we’re doing well and become and tough to beat.
It was really hard when they had 11 players behind the ball, and maybe we were a bit too slow and didn’t turn the game quick enough. We have many days before that (cup) game and I‘m sure the new manager will have time to add his touch a bit more.