The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Tom Bas­sam

SLAVISA JOKANOVIC says Ful­ham must sur­vive tough mo­ments if they are to se­cure the top-six spot which is well within their grasp.

Again their foot­ball im­pressed, as it has all sea­son, in sweep­ing aside Ip­swich in the glo­ri­ous west Lon­don sun.

Floyd Ayite, Scott Malone and Ste­fan Jo­hansen pun­ished the waste­ful Trac­tor Boys and could have eas­ily in­flicted more dam­age be­fore Christophe Berra’s late con­so­la­tion.

Jokanovic’s side are easy on the eye but the man­ager does not seem to cher­ish that qual­ity as much as oth­ers and wants to see more grit to claim the play-off place that is there for the tak­ing.

“We showed char­ac­ter, am­bi­tion and con­fi­dence. We scored three goals and we could have scored more if we are hon­est,” he said.

“We knew at some point in the game we were go­ing to be in trou­ble and this time we know how to bet­ter sur­vive this mo­ment.

“We try to fol­low some kind of style. It’s sim­ple be­cause it is easy for us to win games.

“If I com­pare teams in front of us like New­cas­tle or Brighton I am not sure they play bet­ter foot­ball than what we play, but I am sure they were more quiet in cru­cial mo­ments in the game.

“They’re more solid and they sur­vive dif­fi­cult mo­ments dur­ing games more eas­ier than we do, and this is what we need to im­prove.

“In this short pe­riod in front of us we must im­prove this part of the game. It can bring us into the top six.”

Ip­swich boss Mick McCarthy was once again left to pon­der on his side’s fail­ure to score goals.

“It’s frus­trat­ing re­ally be­cause we had good chances,” he said. “Cer­tainly in the sec­ond half we had three great chances be­fore they scored but it’s prob­a­bly the tale of our sea­son that we didn’t score them.

“They didn’t de­fend par­tic­u­larly well ei­ther. They’re keeper, I’m sure Slavisa thinks it was good de­ci­sion to change, be­cause of the per­for­mance he got out of him.”

With sec­tions of the away fans vent­ing their frus­tra­tions at McCarthy and Ip­swich owner Mar­cus Evans, he was asked how that made him feel. “Like I want to go home and have a beer,” came the quip back.

On the field Ryan Fred­er­icks tor­mented Myles Ken­lock down the Ful­ham right through­out the first half, and Ayite made some of his fine work count. Martin’s ini­tial ef­fort from the full-back’s low cross was par­ried by Bar­tosz Bialkowski but Ayite was on hand to turn in the re­bound.

Malone, roam­ing for­ward from left-back, went one bet­ter. Again Ayite was in­volved, play­ing a de­light­ful one-two with his heel as the de­fender swept in from left, al­low­ing Malone to glide the ball in off the far post with a first-time shot.

Ip­swich be­gan show­ing more of a threat af­ter the break. Mar­cus Bet­tinelli, re­called af­ter David But­ton’s poor mid­week dis­play, proved his worth when forced into a pair of saves from Fred­die Sears and David McGoldrick that were so good he re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion. The sec­ond proved cru­cial as al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter Ful­ham got the third when Jo­hansen jinked on to his left and fired low past Bialkowski. In con­trast to the rap­tur­ous home sup­port, Ip­swich fans’ calls for McCarthy’s head were hardly abated by Berra’s late con­so­la­tion.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

GAME CHANGER: Ful­ham’s Floyd Ayite was in fine form

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