Stefan Johansen has urged his Fulham team-mates to go on a winning run after the Whites registered an important away win at Nottingham Forest.
The Norwegian midfielder, who curled in a sublime free kick from just outside the box to restore Fulham’s lead at the City Ground, felt that winning when his side weren’t at their best was an important message to send to the rest of the Championship. Johansen now wants to carry that confidence into Friday’s west London derby with QPR.
The former Celtic midfielder, who has been a little below par by his own admission this term, told FulhamFCTV that he had a good feeling about the destination of the free-kick almost as soon as Ryan Fredericks was sent tumbling just outside the box after a sensational run from inside his own half.
I had a good feeling when Freddo was brought down. I thought, ‘It’s time to get a free-kick and a goal as well!’ It was an important goal at an important time. Let’s be honest, it wasn’t our best game. First half we struggled a bit and we said to ourselves in the dressing room, ‘it’s there for us, so we just need to be better than we were in the first half’. I got a chance from the free-kick and scored and also Yohann [Mollo] came in and had a nice assist. Neeskens obviously came in and helped us with a goal.
Johansen felt Fulham were far better in the second period when Ollie Norwood ensured that the visitors played with their usual compliment of three central midfielders, although he acknowledges the need for Slavisa Jokanovic to try different systems throughout the course of the season.
I think obviously we played better in the second half. Everybody can see that. We are most used to playing three in midfield than two and a one, with Rui [Fonte] as a number ten. We can play different kind of things, but this game it suited us better to play three, maybe.
At the end of the day, if we want to go up, you need to win on your bad days as well. Hopefully, we can get a run going now and there is an important game for us just on Friday, so it would be nice to get a win there before the international break. We want to go to their QPR, get out there and win the game to get the three points and climb the table.