Slavisa Jokanovic said Fulham’s atrocious start at Hull City yesterday forced him to take drastic action – and he made two substitutions after forty minutes to try and provoke a reaction from his underperforming side.
The Fulham head coach hauled off Sheyi Ojo and Floyd Ayite with five minutes remaining of the first half shortly after Fulham had conceded two goals in four minutes at the KCOM Stadium. He told his post match press conference that the team’s first half performance was unacceptable:
We didn’t start the game well. I made the substitutions to provide a shock reaction. It wasn’t a question of whether Sheyi Ojo was playing a bad game or the same for Floyd Ayite. Both players played very well in the previous two games. But the new people on the pitch gave the side new energy and in the end Aboubakar Kamara scored two important goals. A big credit to him.
The Serbian was critical of Fulham’s laboured start which contrasted sharply with how the Whites attacked Cardiff from the off on Boxing Day.
We didn’t have a lot of energy at the start of the game. I used the same eleven as I had used against Cardiff. We didn’t have control of the ball enough and we were moving slowly in the first 45 minutes. It was urgent for us to change things and we did.
With these changes it gave Tom Cairney, Stefan Johansen, Ryan Sessegnon and Ryan Fredericks more space and they had more energy. Thankfully for us the changes provided a little bit of a shock and we came away with one point. But if we want to be chasing the targets we want to reach, we cannot show such an up and down performance like we did today.
The Fulham boss praised his players for the spirit that underpinned their second half fightback.
We found the situation with the penalty early in the second half. We scored the goal and then we tried to take it step by step. It wasn’t an easy situation and I give a lot of credit to my players. They reacted well in a complicated situation in the second half.