Slavisa Jokanovic hailed his side’s fighting spirit after Fulham fought back from a disastrous start against Preston North End to clinch a precious point with almost the last kick of a see-saw contest.

The visitors raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of Jordan Hugill and Sean Maguire and there were periods in the first half were it looked as though Fulham would be overwhelmed. Jokanovic was pleased with his players responded to adversity and refused to accept they were beaten, telling his post-match press conference:

In the second half, we connected with a few more passes, held the ball more and took more risks. We showed great personality and character on the pitch. We started to play with more confidence and personality. It’s important that we recovered.

Generally, our plan didn’t work well in the first half, but in the end we created many chances. We’ve lost a few points at home late on, but today, we won one point in the last minute, so we must be satisfied. In my opinion, we deserved a point.

The Fulham head coach hailed the immediate impact of the returning Tom Cairney, who featured for the first time since the end of August and should be able to lead the Whites out at Villa Park next weekend.

We found some help from Tom Cairney, who in the first two minutes connected with a few key passes. We didn’t use Tom at the start of the season because of a few complications, but he completed some work in the last session and we expect him to be available for the game that is in front of us.