SLAV: WE HAVE TO BE MORE AM­BI­TIOUS

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Colin Hen­rys

AF­TER an en­cour­ag­ing start to the sea­son the brakes have been slammed on Ful­ham’s pro­mo­tion charge, prompt­ing Slav­isa Jokanovic to call for more am­bi­tion from his play­ers.

An un­beaten Au­gust has made way for a win­less Septem­ber, with a goal­less draw at Wi­gan the Cot­tagers’ third con­sec­u­tive game with­out vic­tory.

With just one goal in those three games, Ful­ham have scored eight times in eight league matches and the Ser­bian ad­mit­ted he is still search­ing for an­swers in the fi­nal third.

“We are not sat­is­fied but we didn’t do enough to win the game,” he ad­mit­ted. “Again, like our last match, we had prob­lems in the fi­nal third.

“We didn’t cre­ate enough chances, and we didn’t score – if you don’t score, even with keep­ing a clean sheet, is only one point and you can’t be sat­is­fied.

“We have a new team, and we need to find a so­lu­tion to this (at­tack­ing) prob­lem. Gen­er­ally we have to ar­rive in the fi­nal third with more am­bi­tion and more de­sire.

“We need to try tak­ing on play­ers, shoot­ing from dis­tance and us­ing set pieces to open up the game.”

Ful­ham ac­tu­ally started brightly when Neeskens Ke­bano cut in­side and stung Adam Bog­dan’s palms with a pow­er­ful ef­fort on three min­utes, but the chance was a rare one.

At the other end Will Grigg shot into the sidenet­ting on six min­utes, while a counter-at­tack in the 21st ended with Michael Ja­cobs fir­ing high and wide.

Grigg was also de­nied by a last­ditch Rag­nar Sig­urds­son tackle on 34 min­utes, and Jordi Gomez scuffed his shot wide when the ball broke loose.

Chris Martin should have headed Ful­ham in front just a minute later but the big striker, un­marked and with the goal gap­ing, com­pletely mist­imed his con­nec­tion with Joz­abed’s pin­point cross.

Two min­utes be­fore half-time Max Power found him­self in space on the edge of the area, but dragged his shot well wide. Wi­gan – and Yanic Wildschut in par­tic­u­lar – came out of the blocks quick­est af­ter the restart but had very lit­tle to show for it.

Ja­cobs’ 25-yard free-kick was fired well over on 70 min­utes, while the tricky Wildschut cut in­side onto his right foot four min­utes later only to drag wide. Sub­sti­tute Adam Le Fon­dre and Power com­bined to play in Ja­cobs on 84 min­utes, but his low shot was saved by David But­ton.

Ful­ham nearly snatched a win­ner with four min­utes re­main­ing but Matt Smith could not turn Ryan Tun­ni­cliffe’s low cross goal­wards.

Wi­gan went even closer in the fi­nal minute, when Nick Pow­ell pounced on a loose ball in the area but, lean­ing back, he shot well over.

Wi­gan boss Gary Cald­well said: “I think we were the team, sec­ond-half es­pe­cially, that looked like win­ning. But I’m very pleased with the per­for­mance. Off the ball we were a lot more ag­gres­sive – some­thing we’ve been work­ing on – but the fi­nal prod­uct just wasn’t there.

“There are lots of pos­i­tives – it could have been more, in terms of win­ning the game, but it’s a start we can build on. The per­for­mance is there and we now need to turn that into wins.

“We’re in a good vein of form, although the re­sults haven’t been good. We don’t look like a team that’s only taken one point from five games.”

PIC­TURE: WhiteRosePho­tos

HANDS UP: Ful­ham keeper David But­ton punches the ball clear from a cor­ner be­fore Wi­gan’s Dan Burn can get his head to the ball

STAR MAN YANIC WILDSCHUT Wi­gan

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