A focused Slavisa Jokanovic has insisted his Fulham side can’t relax after thumping Burton Albion last weekend – reminding his players they have ‘achieved nothing at the moment’.
The Serbian head coach admitted his pleasure at the 6-0 win over the Championship’s bottom club, but he recognises that there will be tougher tests to come – perhaps starting with Saturday’s trip to Oakwell to face Barnsley. Jokanovic told his pre-match press conference this afternoon:
We played very well and our plan is working perfectly we can be satisfied with this game but it’s now so far and part of history. In football we don’t find perfect days too much, we show many positives and show promise and improvement. We must focused, we can’t be overconfident – we must be ready to work hard.
There are 18 games left, we [have] achieved nothing at the moment. We arrived in the top six in the last few games last season – it’s always tough. When we work well we can improve ourselves. Everyone around myself is working hard and at the end we show improvement and can play better than what we played a few months ago.
We cannot relax, we beat Burton because we respected them and were really focused. Odoi, Kalas and Ream caught [their] perfect level against Burton. If we are more clinical everything is more easy for the team.
Jokanovic knows his team will in for a tough test against the Tykes this weekend.
Barnsley are a very aggressive team and will try to take advantage of any mistakes. We need to be intelligent, brave and don’t give them any chances.
He confirmed that Fulham will be without Sheyi Ojo and Floyd Ayite for Saturday’s clash but that he expects captain Tom Cairney to be available for selection after coming off the bench against Burton last weekend.
The Fulham boss also hinted that Matt Targett, who arrived on loan from Southampton on Monday, might start at left back on Saturday.
Matt Targett can be important player for us, he’s young and talented with Premier League experience. In these few days he’s shown that quality and we believe he will adapt fast. It depends on [our] game plan, but his natural position is left back and I will have more options for my team.
Jokanovic also scotched suggestions that Scotland striker Chris Martin could be in line to reprise his loan move to Craven Cottage of last year. The Fulham manager was forthright in ruling out a return for Martin, who refused to play for the Whites this time last year.