Slavisa Jokanovic says Friday night’s trip to Reading represents a stern test of Fulham’s promotion ambitions.
The Serbian head coach takes his side to the Madjeski Stadium with the Whites just four points off the play-off places and in the midst of a five-match unbeaten run. He feels the next two league fixtures, against third placed Reading and current Championship pacesetters Brighton and Albion, will show just how strong Fulham’s promotion credentials really are.
Jokanovic told his pre-match press conference at Motspur Park:
We are going to play against third and first in the league. It is a great chance to test ourselves. We go into this match full of confidence after the match against Ipswich.
They (Reading) have not changed their style after they played us. But we have to be ready for any changes they may make.
The Fulham boss played down immediate talk of a promotion challenge, preferring to focus on the immediate priority of preparing to face the Royals, who will be eager for revenge after being on the receiving end of a 5-0 hammering at Craven Cottage earlier this month.
I am not thinking about May. I am thinking about tomorrow night and the next step. The next step is Reading.
Jokanovic, who confirmed that Tomas Kalas is the only member of the first team squad unavailable, admitted he pays little attention to the comments of other managers. Mick McCarthy became the latest Championship boss to laud Fulham’s style of play – but the Serbian reiterated that his focus is on achieving the results to close the gap on the sides leading the way.
It’s nice if some managers say we play nice football. But we haven’t done our job. We push harder to make ourselves better.