Slavisa Jokanovic feels time has helped Fulham become a more formidable side this season – and the Serbian head coach has been heartened by the fight his team has shown over the course of this Championship campaign.

The Whites’ six-match winning run might have come to end an end at Bolton on Saturday, but Jokanovic’s team still head into Saturday’s crunch clash with Aston Villa unbeaten in seven. Fulham now have genuine promotion aspirations, something which looked far fetched when they slipped to seventeenth in the table after losing at Wolves back in November. Jokanovic told GetWestLondon’s Ryan O’Donovan that his side needed some time to adjust to their shaky start to the season:

Time has changed – we needed to adapt ourselves, everyone was talking about Fulham last season but Fulham last season are two different teams. It’s true we stayed with some very important players like Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney, but to be honest we didn’t enjoy the best version of Cairney this season. We expect he can improve us still more, and time in football is important.

We understand better and start to trust each other, we start living like family, all together, and it’s more positive. We are ready for fighting for each other, more than what we were doing in the past and we have a clearer idea on what we must do in the game.

At the end, we are a little but luckier, we find results but we show more spirit, trust in ourselves and this is a change when we compare the games in September or October or the beginning of the Championship. I don’t know where we are going to finish, I know we have the chance to fight and show we can play quality football.

The Fulham head coach believes the club’s strengthening of the first team squad with the additions of Matt Targett, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Cyrus Christie in the January transfer window could prove crucial during the run-in.

I believe we made three good signings in the January transfer window, they can push and bring us more competition in the team and I believe I can detect that we are working with more quality with few new players. It’s impossible for one player to bring us up, but these three new players can start to push in the same direction as the rest of the team and this is good for us.