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Slavisa Jokanovic lavished praise on teenage defender Ryan Sessegnon after the England Under 17 international scored the winner as Fulham reached the fourth round of the FA Cup – and detailed his plans to strengthen his squad ahead of a promotion push.

The Serbian head coach was effusive in his praise for Sessegnon, who made the most of his first start in a month and a half, and urged Fulham to ward off the interest from all around Europe in one of the country’s most promising young players. He admitted he was keen to speak only sparingly about Sessegnon so as not to put too much pressure on the 16 year-old’s shoulders.

He’s very good for the project of this football club, he’s one of the most talented teenagers in England. I am sure that he is going to be a very important player for us in the future.

But he’s only 16 years old, we have to be careful with him, and I prefer not to talk so much about Ryan Sessegnon. He’s a very intelligent kid, he’s working very hard and has to keep going.

Jokanovic called on the club’s ownership to match his own levels of ambition by strengthening his squad in key areas in order to help Fulham sustain a serious promotion challenge in the second half of the season.

It depends on our ambition. I want Ryan Sessegnon, I want one striker and I want one defender. We have to try to push the team in top six. We are past the first third of the season and we have in front of us 20 days [of the transfer window] still.

The Fulham head coach was pleased with the way his side dominated proceedings against Cardiff in the morning kick-off, but felt they could have scored more goals.

I am pleased with this win because we moved the ball well and played with patience. We scored two goals and did enough to score the third goal.