SLAV’S A HARD MAN TO PLEASE
Cottagers hit five against in-form Royals, but Jokanovic still demands more
SLAVISA JOKANOVIC insists there is still more to come after a complete Fulham performance ended Reading’s five-game winning streak.
Chris Gunter turned the ball in his own net after 15 minutes to give the hosts a half-time lead.
And Fulham effectively secured the points shortly after the break, with Chris Martin’s goal quickly followed by a straight red for Danny Williams.
Sone Aluko and Stefan Johansen scored two quality second-half goals before Martin added the gloss with a late fifth.
Jokanovic said: “We played a very good game, we tried to press them very high.
“We came from a bad defeat at Brighton, where we played very good football, but didn’t find the result.
“We showed how we can be strong if we believe in ourselves and our style. We scored five goals, but we need to be still more clinical in some moments.
“Sometimes you are going to make only one chance and you have to score.
“Normally, I am never satisfied. Now, I try and be satisfied but believe my players can still do better in the future.”
Fulham almost led after six minutes, Floyd Ayite intercepting a wayward free-kick and charged past Paul McShane, but Ali Al-Habsi saved well.
Ayite had an even better chance on 12 minutes, but blazed Aluko’s cross miles over.
But the hosts took the lead shortly afterwards, when Gunter put Ryan Fredericks’ cross in with no one behind him.
Fredericks was in action at both ends, making a crucial halfway-line tackle to deny Williams a clear run on goal.
Fulham started the second half sharply and capitalised early when Martin scored on 49 minutes. Ayite nodded on a long ball and Reading’s defence stood off Martin, allowing him to bury his shot from 20 yards.
Martin had two chances to put the game to bed in two minutes, when he headed a whipped free-
kick over, before he sliced a low Ayite cross into the stands.
Reading’s comeback hopes were dashed when Williams was shown a straight red card on 54 minutes, the midfielder tangling with Johansen and appearing to kick out as they went to ground.
Jaap Stam made attack-into ing changes, bringing on Liam Kelly and Yakou Meite to salvage something from the game.
But the move brought more gaps in the defence, which Aluko exploited on 68 minutes, beating Tyler Blackett for pace and bursting into the box before placing a low shot in the net. Fulham were briefly denied by the linesman’s flag, wrongly adjudging an offside Martin to have finished the move, but referee Oliver Langford’s intervention meant the goal stood.
The hosts were rampant and Johansen added a sublime fourth, curling Ayite’s cutback the bottom corner, before Martin added a fifth in the 90th minute to complete the rout.
Stam said: “After the 1-0, you can still do better in the second half. You concede the second one and get a red card – which I don’t think is a red card – then it’s much more difficult.
“You need to be strong sometimes and keep it close. We didn’t do that, we gave them too much space and too much time on the ball. They punished us. It wasn’t tactical, because it happened exactly how we expected.”
DEMANDING: Slavisa Jokanovic SHIELD: Tom Cairney looks to keep the ball from Reading defender Tyler Blackett
ON FIRE: Floyd Ayite goes close for Fulham
FIVE STAR: Rampant Fulham celebrate on a prolific afternoon at the Cottage