Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic admitted that Saturday’s meeting with Bristol City at Craven Cottage is ‘a six-pointer.’ The two teams are level on 37 points just above the drop zone – with the Whites’ superior goal difference putting them in nineteenth place.
The Serbian head coach certainly wasn’t diminishing the enormity of the contest in his pre-match press conference:
“For us it’s a very important game, a six-pointer game, and we must win. Bristol City have improved but everything depends on us. They are going to arrive in our home and we need to do everything to win the game.
“The last game against Burnley we played very well, tactically we played a very good game, we made many positive things. But the most important thing is that we didn’t find a result. We need to be focused and go into the game with the right mentality for fighting.
Jokanovic’s rallying call raises the stakes for a pivotal battle tomorrow: “Now we are going into war; 10 finals are in front of us, the first final that we’re going to play is tomorrow afternoon. Let’s be strong and prepare to give our maximum on the field.”
The Fulham boss admitted he was working on nullifying Aden Flint’s threat from set plays.
“It’s true, he’s a very dangerous player who is probably one of the better attackers in this kind of situation. I’m talking with my players and we’re working today in training to try and stop him, and generally to be prepared to start avoiding the problems that we’ve had in this kind of situation in previous games.
We’ve made unnecessary and very costly mistakes, five penalties in the last nine games, we need to be more concentrated, more prepared in the situations where we need to defend set-pieces. We were working in this way before, and the last two days we have spent some time trying to fix this problem.
Jokanovic acknowledged that this has been a miserable season for the Craven Cottage faithful and reiterated that he wants to deliver better displays for the fans.
“The fans always play a huge part. Last game they pushed us until the last minute, the same as our away fans in Reading, to try and support us and try to improve us. I’m sure tomorrow is going to be the same situation and our obligation is the same; support them for supporting us. At the moment we don’t give them enough. I expect we can offer a better face and, like I said before, we must win the game. This is our target for tomorrow.”