Slavisa Jokanovic felt Fulham weren’t brave enough to match the physical challenge posed by Aston Villa and lacked the necessary quality in either box after the Whites went down to defeat at Villa Park yesterday.

The Fulham head coach was very critical of his side’s reversion to route one when they found the path to goal blocked by Steve Bruce’s organised defence and bemoaned the visitors’ inability to stretch Sam Johnstone in the Villa goal. After watching Fulham’s three-game unbeaten run come to an end, Jokanovic told the press:

We didn’t have enough quality, we weren’t brave enough playing from the back,. When they started to press us a little bit we played it back to the ‘keeper and went long ball. This is not the best choice for us. In the second half we showed more personality and we tried to move the ball. We got the ball in the opposite box but we weren’t clinical enough.

The Serbian criticised Fulham’s defending for the winning goal, scored by Albert Adomah at the far post after a quick Villa break following Aboubakar Kamara losing the ball in attacking position. He said:

The second goal that they scored came from a long ball which they controlled and many, many players could have scored the goal. We didn’t finish our chances and score the goal. They’re a physical, strong team, they’re fast. We didn’t find the quality to have an answer for [Jonathan] Kodjia and all the long balls he controlled.

He always pushed us and he was the winner in this kind of situation. This is another situation that we didn’t control well enough, but more important is that we weren’t clinical in either box.

Jokanovic was more upbeat on the fitness prospects of midfielder Stefan Johansen, who was forced off through injury late in the second half. He believes the Norwegian, who had levelled matters with a fine free-kick just before the break, will be fit for Saturday’s meeting with Bolton Wanderers.

It’s some kind of groin problem. We’re going to assess him and I expect he’s going to be available for the game that’s in front of us.