Slavisa Jokanovic has singled the selfless work of underrated Kevin McDonald as being a vitally ‘important’ ingredient in Fulham’s belated push for promotion.

The Serbian head coach hailed McDonald’s impact at the base of the Fulham midfield in giving the side’s more creative players the freedom to express themselves, whilst acknowledging that much of the work the Scottish international gets through is far from glamorous. The former Wolves and Sheffield United midfielder quickly became a key part of Jokanovic’s side after moving to Craven Cottage in the summer and has made 38 appearances for the Whites this season.

I know supporters prefer great passes, great dribbles and great goals but Kevin has done an important job for us with the balance. Kevin is one of the top players in the Championship and is among the most successful passers in the competition.

This is part of football. His role is really important for us and this part of the job can go more unnoticed by supporters. It’s not attractive work what he’s doing but he’s an important part of the team.

The 28 year-old’s consistency in his holding midfield role allowed Jokanovic to shift to a slightly more adventurous system midway through the campaign and has also seen veteran club captain Scott Parker used more regularly as a substitute in the second half of the season. The way McDonald gelled quickly alongside playmaker Tom Cairney and new arrival Stefan Johansen as part of an all-conquering central midfield trio has arguably been one of the turning points in Fulham’s fortunes.