Slavisa Jokanovic insisted Fulham fully deserved their derby victory at Loftus Road last night – despite watching his side defend their lead desperately during nine agonising minutes of added time.
The visitors had established a 2-0 lead through Ryan Fredericks and Stefan Johansen, whose cool strike came just after Rui Fonte had missed a penalty, but were made to suffer during stoppage time after QPR substitute Conor Washington had pulled a goal back for the home side. Jokanovic told his press conference afterwards:
I’m always happy, especially when we win a West London derby. I am happy for the supporters, too. I believe we deserved it.
At the end we suffered when QPR were in our territory and they started to push us in the box with many players. I must be satisfied because we survived this complicated moment. We suffered after their goal but fortunately we defended well and won the game.
The Fulham head coach also believes that his side, who now sit just a point outside the top six, can only improve as the season goes along.
We are a completely new team. Tonight was 50 per cent of the players from last season. We believe when we start working all together and push each other that all the players can be better than they actually are right now. We need to compete in training to be ready to compete during the competition. We are going to push each other to try and be successful.
Jokanovic also had to endure the disappointment of another missed penalty, although the Serbian insisted he still had confidence in Rui Fonte as the designated taker.
It’s only one penalty that we missed this season. It’s the first time we shoot and the first time we missed. I cannot explain it. I ordered that Rui take it in this situation. I expect we’ll be successful next time. He can take another one.