Slavisa Jokanovic refused to comment on the departure of Fulham’s assistant director of football Craig Klein – insisting he was only focused on preparing the Whites as they try end a dismal run of four games without a win at league leaders Wolves tomorrow night.
Klein, who was promoted from a data analyst role to become Fulham’s assistant director of football operations under Tony Khan last spring, was dismissed on Tuesday after reportedly clashing with senior club officials. His abrupt exit made have provoked headlines but Jokanovic told his pre-match press conference that he was concentrating on ensuring Fulham produced a better performance at Molineux than they managed in a sobering defeat by Bristol City in midweek.
I have no intention of making a comment on this man. He is not here and he has left the club and that is it – I don’t have any other information on this case. I am fully concentrated on my work and in front of myself and my players is a very important game.
The head coach admitted that Fulham have been well below the high standards they set last season, when the Whites snuck into the top six at the end of the campaign, but believes there is plenty of time to put things right given the length of a Championship season.
The last few games we have not been at our best level. This is a great chance for us to show a different face. We didn’t show enough of a good performance and we must be brave, confident and we must push to work hard.
We must work in a positive way to get to our highest level, this is our job. We are 13 points behind Wolves, six points behind the play-off spots and have two points less than we had after 15 games last season, but there is a long period ahead of us.
We know we are not at our best level, but we cannot be depressed. It’s a frustrating situation for myself, my players and our supporters but we cannot give up and there is a long way in front of us. We deserve the criticism around us and this is natural.
Jokanovic knows exactly what to expect from Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves, whose expansive football has lit up the league so far this season.
Wolves have played very well. They are the top scoring team in the division with very offensive players that can find goals alone, they don’t need so many elements. They are very dangerous on the counter-attack and they brought important players into the squad and show they want to be a Premier League team.
After an important win against Norwich they will be motivated with confidence to push to win the match. We must be extra focused and concentrate. Where we have the chance to damage them we must be able, brave and clever.