Slavisa Jokanovic is expecting a tough game against a confident Birmingham City side when Fulham resume their Championship campaign after the international break.
Birmingham will travel to Craven Cottage in good heart after surprising much-fancied promotion hopefuls Norwich City last time out and will take confidence from a strong recent record in west London, which saw them end Kit Symons’ reign as Fulham boss with a comprehensive victory on their last visit. Jokanovic wants his side to extend their unbeaten start to the season, but has alerted his players to Blues’ strengths.
It’s a tough team. If they’re capable of winning a game like that [against Norwich], they can be a very dangerous team for us too. We have to be motivated, play with energy and put them under some stress. We want to be the dominant team and have control in the game, and try and dominate with the ball.
I expect they are going to be waiting for us in a very organised shape with many players, and try and catch us in some kind of mistake, try and find chances on the counter attack. I believe we are working very well, we rested very well, and we are ready for the Birmingham game.
The Fulham head coach told his pre-match press conference that he was happy with the club’s acquisitions in the closing hours of the summer transfer window and that they will give him greater resources to juggle with during an arduous section of the season. Chris Martin, signed on deadline day on loan from Derby County, is expected to make his Fulham debut up front.
We have a stronger, deeper squad, and we have more quality. We started this season two-and-a-half months ago, and these players who started at the beginning have done a very good job. I am happy with them, I’m happy with the new signings, and all of us have to be ready to compete in what is in front of us. Immediately what is more important is winning the game, and we’re going to try and select the best choice for us.
In the next 21 days we’re going to play seven games. The Birmingham game is our first game, it’s not the last, and I expect all the people in the squad will be available and ready to give their maximum in the field when they have the opportunity to compete. We signed 14 players and we believe all of them will be available in different moments to participate and to help us in this competition.
Jokanovic, whose side trained at Craven Cottage ahead of the game yesterday, has also urged Fulham’s fans to play their part – and hopes to bring more success in sharp contrast to the dismal fare they have watched since the club were relegated in 2014.
I always feel the supporters try and push us in a positive direction. In the beginning of this season we offered them better performances than we offered in the past. I believe we can make them still happier in the future, and I’m sure they’re going to push us in the next game to help us find a way to win.