SLAV’S A HARD MAN TO PLEASE

Cot­tagers hit five against in-form Roy­als, but Jokanovic still de­mands more

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Sam Tobin

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.”

PIC­TURE: Andy Wal­ter/ProS­ports

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

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