Slavisa Jokanovic: "I still believe we can be better"

Slavisa Jokanovic: "I still believe we can be better"

Fulham Head Coach, Slavisa Jokanovic, is still expecting improvement from his team in spite of an impressive run of form that has seen the Cottagers leapfrog Leeds United into sixth place in the Championship.

ConordeSmith
Conor de Smith

Slavisa Jokanovic still believes his Fulham side can continue to improve on their recent performances despite three consecutive league wins.

Victories over Ipswich Town, Norwich City and Aston Villa have fired the London outfit above Leeds United into one of the four Play-Off places that the Championship has to offer.

The Cottagers might be on course for their first top-six finish since their relegation from the Premier League in 2014 but Head Coach, Slavisa Jokanovic, wishes to see further progression in the few league outings that remain.

“The day that we are completely satisfied is going to be a very, very dangerous day for all of us,” he said.

Jokanovic wants further improvement 

Fulham make the trip to West Yorkshire this Saturday to tackle David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town in what could prove a pivotal encounter in the race for promotion.

Difficult trips to the John Smith’s Stadium and Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough are exacerbated by a fairly easy run-in for Leeds, who face relegation candidates Burton Albion at the weekend.

A 3-1 victory over 10-man Aston Villa earlier this week continued an impressive run of form for the Whites - who are fourth in the form guide - but Jokanovic has urged his players to better themselves as the season comes to an end.

Fulham were able to dispatch of Aston Villa this week. Source - Getty Images.
Fulham were able to dispatch of Aston Villa this week. Source - Getty Images.

“We need to be optimistic, we need to push ourselves, we need to show ambition,” he said in his pre-Huddersfield Town press conference. “The day that we are completely satisfied is going to be a very, very dangerous day for all of us.

“You have to try and be better every second, every moment. And this moment that we’re in right now, three games before the end of the regular part of the Championship, I still believe we can be better, more competitive, more solid, faster, more clinical, and interpret situations better.

“I believe I am going to be a better coach tomorrow than I am today, and it’s the same for my players. I don’t want to believe we have reached our peak level, the space exists in front of us to still be more competitive, more aggressive, still play better football to be more dangerous for the opposition team.”

Pressure on with three games remaining 

Huddersfield have promotion hopes of their own and will be no pushovers when Jokanovic’s exciting side come to town.

The Terriers’ string of results fail to tell the story of a scintillating season that is likely to end in a Play-Off semi-final at the very least due to a five-point lead over seventh place and a game in hand over their respective counterparts.

Fulham won the reverse fixture in convincing fashion during October but Jokanovic is not anticipating an equally routine victory on this occasion. However, the former Watford manager admits he will relish the pressure that comes with chasing promotion.

“Every team is under some kind of pressure,” he stated. “I’m sure they are thinking about the Play-Offs. We are close to achieving this, but we are in a different situation.

“In football some kind of pressure always exists, but this is good news for us, we are fully confident in this moment and we believe we can win all the games.

“And with this mentality, everything is easier for us. From the other side, we understand we’re playing against a team who have been a sensation in this league.

Slavisa Jokanovic and David Wagner shake hands prior to the start of the reverse fixture in October. Source - Getty Images.
Jokanovic and Wagner shake hands prior to the start of the reverse fixture in October. Source - Getty Images.

“This team have played very well, it’s a very aggressive team, and I don’t expect anything to be easy in this game. This is the only game that we’re thinking about actually right now.

“Three games are in front of us but in this moment we have to think only about the first step. Different things are going to happen in these three rounds and we must be ready for everything.

“It’s a massive game in front of us, a really important game, but it’s not the last game of the season. We are ready for the Huddersfield game, and we must be ready afterwards for the next two.”

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