Slavisa Jokanovic was pleased that Fulham progressed in the League Cup tonight by seeing off Exeter City – but has urged his side to strive for further improvement.
The Serbian head coach praised the Whites’ ambition after watching his team defeat their League Two opposition comfortably, courtesy of two goals from French forward Aboubakar Kamara – but he told his post-match press conference that he had identified a number of areas where Fulham should be looking to improve:
I must be happy with the ambition we showed today. We wanted to fight and compete in the game. We are in some kind of the process, we need to look a little bit better in possession and not complicate our life, show a little bit more quality on the pitch.
It’s part of the process, like I’ve said before. We need to improve. We are going in the normal way and we expect that in the next round we can play better football still than today. Tactically we need to improve. We need to know our positions better, I need more people in the box, I need us to play with less touches. The process is never finished – we need to try and improve and improve and improve.
Jokanovic made eleven changes from Sunday’s victory over Burnley and reiterated the importance of giving some of the first team squad’s fringe players an early season run out.
We played two days ago and I didn’t see any sense in playing any players who featured two days ago. I used some players who didn’t have so many chances at the beginning of the season. Now we are a bigger squad and I have the space to use more people in different competitions. I try to find logic when I am working and for me there was logic using the players I did today.
The Fulham boss singled out debutante Alfie Mawson for particular praise after the former England under-21 international came through his first start since a summer move from Swansea City unscathed.
Alfie Mawson came in for his debut and put in an assured performance. He also had no adverse reaction to his recent injury, playing more minutes than were initially scheduled. He showed quality, he showed experience. I had the plan to bring him off after 65 minutes, and in the end he had 10 minutes more.
He adapted himself with the team very well, and showed he will be a great addition for us. He probably needs a little bit more time to be 100 per cent fit, but he showed today that he can be part of the squad in the league. Ahead of us is three training sessions. He showed a good level and after three and a half months this is his first game.
Jokanovic insisted that it was too early to say whether Mawson would keep his place in the starting line-up when Fulham travel to the AMEX Stadium to take on Brighton and Hove Albion this weekend.
We are happy how he adapted himself with us. He showed he’s strong, he’s solid in the air. He knows how to play football, and he is going to be a good addition for us. I have three days more to think about my team and choose what I think is the best option for us when fighting for the points against Brighton,