Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic says he won’t be underestimating Saturday’s visitors Birmingham City despite the injury-hit Blues languishing in the Championship relegation zone as the Whites seek to bounce back from last week’s derby defeat.
Jokanovic is desperate to deliver a more complete performance than the one his side served up at Griffin Park last weekend but knows that Steve Cotterill’s men will come to Craven Cottage determined to arrest their worst run of form away from home since 1978-79. The Serbian knows that Blues will be dogged opponents who could be hard to break down, as he told this afternoon’s pre-match press conference at Motspur Park.
They want to change their situation. At the moment they are not successful, but they are a competitive, big, physically strong team and, like always, we expect a tough game.
The Fulham boss believes he knows how most Championship teams will line-up against his outfit, attempting to stifle the Whites’ creativity and patient passing game.
We more or less know how different teams are going to try and play against us. They’re a team who aren’t going to combine so much. We know we must be strong in the challenge and be ready in the second phase. They are not going to give us much space for an offensive transition. We want to play many minutes in the last third of the pitch, and we must show patience, precision, quality, and show the killer instinct, be clinical in this situation.
Jokanovic knows his side will need to begin pick up regular wins as the season ticks around to the busy festive period.
We are going step by step and we’re going to see how we manage this kind of situation. At the moment it’s still a quiet period where we have a week between our next two games. The end of December and the beginning of January is a very tough schedule with many games.
Fulham will have to do without the suspended Denis Odoi and injured Lucas Piazon for tomorrow’s clash, although he expects the Brazilian to resume full training with the first-team squad following next weekend’s trip to Sunderland after eight months on the sidelines after having his leg broken in a robust challenge at Leeds.