Slavisa Jokanovic knows Fulham will face ‘a tough test’ when Bolton Wanderers visit Craven Cottage tomorrow afternoon, despite the Trotters currently sitting at the bottom of the Championship table.
Phil Parkinson’s men will travel south in good spirits having beaten Sheffield Wednesday and drawn with QPR in their last two league outings and the Fulham head coach told his pre-match press conference this afternoon that there’s absolutely no chance of the Whites taking their challenge lightly.
They started winning some points in the last two games. They’re a tall, strong, physical team who will probably try and catch us at some set-pieces or in some offensive transitions without so many players.
They compete very well with many tall people. I expect they’re not going to fight for possession of the ball, they’re going to try and be organised in defence and try to make fast attacks. They’re probably going to decide to press our build-up with many people, and we have prepared the team for this kind of situation.
We know a tough game is in front of us but it’s a great chance for us to be available and motivated and aggressive enough to win three points. Right now they are at the bottom of the table, but especially in the last two games they have shown the ambition and desire to change their situation, and we must be ready for the game.
Jokanovic insists his side need to raise their level in order to feature in the promotion picture, especially at Craven Cottage, where Fulham have only one game this season. The Serbian was adamant that his players are keen to put right the wrongs of last weekend when they appeared flat and surrendered the initiative to a hungrier Aston Villa side at Villa Park.
The team is motivated. We know we haven’t shown enough, especially in front of our own supporters. We are going to arrive with the intention and desire to try and find our best performance in front of our supporters. We know we’re not at our best level, we know we can do a better job, and a chance to do that is immediately in front of us.
Jokanovic can almost choose from a full first-team squad for Saturday’s fixture, with only loan duo Lucas Piazon and Sheyi Ojo ruled out with long-term injuries. Fulham expect the pair to return to full training at Motspur Park at the beginning of December.
Only Ojo and Piazon are unavailable for tomorrow’s game. They are recovering well in general and we expect that both of them will start working with us again in the beginning of December.