Jokanovic wants a reaction from struggling Fulham
SLAVISA JOKANOVIC feels some of Fulham’s players do not “hurt” enough when they are left out of his starting 11. The Cottagers boss, whose 12 summer signings cost more than £100million, has experimented with his team selection since winning promotion to the Premier League.
His side have so far struggled to make the step up and sit in the relegation zone after conceding 28 goals and registering just one win from 10 games.
“This process is never finished, other players are going to have an opportunity to push hard and fight for the space in the team,” Jokanovic said of his team selection.
“I want to encourage my players to not wait for an opportunity. I want to encourage them to fight, to force the situation and show me they are my best choice. This is what I expect.
“I want to make some competition between them and for them to be hurt when they are not in the starting 11. This is what I miss right now.”
Fulham travel to bottom side Huddersfield tomorrow evening searching for a first win since August 26. Jokanovic has demanded improvement from his whole squad and urged them to relish the challenge of rectifying their disappointing start.
“We need more, it’s simple. At the beginning it’s not enough and we cannot be satisfied with ourselves,” he said
“We didn’t make our supporters satisfied too. They observe us and they are waiting for the reaction. It’s not for the reaction of one player or two, it’s the reaction of all the team.
“We wanted to start with more points, with more quality. This challenge is open, is ahead of us, and we must be brave.”
Huddersfield boss David Wagner views tomorrow’s home clash as a “big opportunity”. The Terriers have failed to win any of their first 10 Premier League games this season. They host a Fulham outfit who are two places above them with two more points.
Wagner said: “This first win is massive for us. We have shown a lot of good performances — not last weekend against Watford (a 3-0 away loss) but the weeks before.
“We have shown a lot of good things in our game. The players have shown the right spirit. We got unbelievable support home and away from our supporters.
“But we haven’t won and it’s now the next opportunity, a big opportunity for us, against Fulham — a team which I absolutely respect. We know with the support from the stands we can do this extra yard which is unbelievably important, and this is the moment where we would like to turn it around.
“And with one win, as we all know, everything can look a little bit different.”
Tomorrow will mark exactly three years since Wagner’s appointment at Huddersfield, who were 18th in the Championship at the time.
The German guided them to promotion to the top flight via the play-offs in the following season and they came 16th last term.
When asked about his upcoming anniversary, he said: “If you look back and you see where we started and where we are now, obviously some surprising things have happened in the last three years regarding us.
“I’m very, very humble and glad. I really appreciate that I was able to be part of this, what we have seen in the last three years, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody — first and foremost the chairman (Dean Hoyle) and the board and our supporters, the backroom staff and my players, everybody who really helped and worked for this club to give me an environment of warm welcome and support.
“I’m happy that so many people were part of what we’ve done. Now it’s up to us to make sure this continues.”
He added: “We never spoke about the Premier League when I spoke to the chairman the first time about what we should do in the future, this was never a theme for us. But it happened.
“We came here — very surprising. We stayed here — even more surprising.
“And when you are part of it and you have the taste of it, you are so greedy that you like to make sure it continues.”
Slavisa Jokanovic: ‘We need more, it’s simple’