Slavisa Jokanovic admitted that he sent Fulham out with the wrong formation and was pleased to see his half-time changes deliver a more fluent performance as the Whites returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Charlton Athletic yesterday afternoon.
The Serbian head coach ditched the 5-3-2 that had delivered such an encouraging derby win over QPR following the midweek debacle at Blackburn but reverted back to the system after an insipid first half display against the Championship struggles, when the Addicks could justifiably consider themselves unfortunate to go in a goal down. Jokanovic introduced Michael Madl, who scored the crucial second, and loanee Chris Baird at half-time and substitutions gave Fulham a far better balance.
We played good football today. In the first 45 minutes we found many difficulties and Charlton troubled us many times. It’s probably my mistake; we tried to play from the middle. I killed Ryan Fredericks and Luke Garbutt and didn’t find the right position for them. We scored the goal in the first 45 minutes but I wasn’t so happy so decided to switch the structure and we played better football in the second 45 minutes.
After winning 3-0, after getting a clean sheet, after scoring a set-piece goal, we can be satisfied with our performance today. We can be satisfied, we can be happy with what we offered today for our supporters in our stadium. It’s over and the new test is in three days [at Leeds United]. Our obligation is to try and be in this level, and Tuesday night is a new chance for us.
The victory also included Fulham’s first clean sheet since mid-October and Jokanovic is determined to tighten up one of the league’s leakiest defences.
It’s not easy to finish the game without conceding a goal. It’s great news for us and it’s great news to score a goal off a set-piece. It’s important, it’s not easy to always score three goals to win a game, sometimes you need to win 1-0 or something similar. It’s good for our confidence. At the end of this strange week we’ve won two London derbies and had one very poor performance at Blackburn. It’s a great afternoon for us but it’s over, the only important thing now is this game on Tuesday.