Slavisa Jokanovic was delighted that his Fulham side ended their six game winless run with a victory over in-form Sheffield United at Bramall Lane tonight – but believes his side could have made things more comfortable for themselves.
The Whites were left clinging to the slenderest of advantages in the dying embers of stoppage time having led 5-2 at one stage – and Jokanovic described the ninety minutes as ‘a crazy game’. He lauded his players for being brave enough to attack the Blades at pace and pose real problems for one of the Championship’s best sides, but pointed to sloppy defensive mistakes that put the victory in doubt.
Speaking to the press after a pulsating encounter in south Yorkshire, the Serbian head coach said:
It was a crazy game. It was great entertainment for the supporters, a little bit less for us! We needed a victory after some games where we didn’t play at a good enough level. We must be satisfied with three points, and now we keep moving forward.
We tried to attack them where in the past they have tried to attack teams. We found space, we played with fast players, they found this space very well and they showed their quality to finish the chances we created. I think we caused more problems and damage than they did. At the end of the day, there’s only one goal difference, I feel we deserved a little bit more of a comfortable victory, but they’re one of the best Championship teams and I must be satisfied.
Jokanovic was critical of how easy Leon Clarke found it to notch another Championship hat-trick, bemoaning the poor defensive mistakes that allowed the Blades back into a contest that had seemed cut and dried.
We tried to stop their centre-backs overlapping, we tried to stop them getting many people in our box. They found some space between our lines and did some damage. For the first, second and third goals I didn’t think they did enough to score them, but in the end it’s our fault they scored four goals and we need to be more solid. We cannot expect to score five goals to win a game.
The Fulham head coach was full of praise for how the home side kept going in adversity and the way in which his opposite number Chris Wilder changed the contest late on.
Sheffield United are a team in great form. They are full of confidence, they are a fast and strong team who play with energy to win games. They are only recently promoted from League One, but they are one of the realistic candidates to be a Premier League team next season, and so you have to respect the coach and the team for what they’re doing this season.