Slavisa Jokanovic Thoughts
Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic was in confident mood as he faced the media for his pre-Wembley press duties today. He certainly talked a good game and will no doubt have Fulham supporters in confident mood with the message being pushed forward that it’s a young attacking and energetic side vs an older defensive-minded unit.
First of all, the Fulham boss confirmed he had a healthy squad with no injuries to account for, before being fairly open about how his team will approach the game.
“We will be confident and follow our style,” said Jokanovic. “It’s about dominating the situation and putting our opposition under stress – we must take responsibility and be aggressive.”
If Villa supporters were wondering if Steve Bruce would set-up again to be defensive like the Middlesbrough game or take a more open attacking approach, it seems Fulham are expecting the former scenario and are planning to exploit it.
“Steve Bruce knows how to protect his defensive line, but we know we can put them under pressure and cause damage,” highlighted the Serbian, before focusing in on the ages of the two teams, using the Villa captain as an example.
“John Terry has played so many games at Wembley, but we are going to put him under pressure from strong and fast players, and we hope he can make some mistakes.
“We are the younger team, with more energy. We believe in our style and will dominate the situation. We’re ready for all the small details. Experience is important, but it’s not everything.”
Bottle Job Pressure?
After falling at the final hurdle of automatic promotion, after an impressive 23 game unbeaten run, by losing to the Blues on the last day, there have been doubts about Fulham’s mental strength.
Would their failure in last year’s play-offs, when they were favourites, add to their automatic promotion disappointment? They didn’t look too impressive against Derby and were certainly aided by Derby’s woeful marking.
Jokanovic dismissed there is any added pressure to make amends.
“There’s no negative pressure – just a great afternoon ahead of us,” he said.
“We have the opportunity to play in the best football league in the world – that’s motivation enough.”
And of his team’s lack of Wembley experience? With only two of the first team having played there before, compared to the fact pretty much all of Villa’s first XI have (and multiple times in many cases).
“We have enough experience to manage the situation,” concluded Jokanovic. “I expect we will perform well, move forward, and do everything to win the game.”
PS – He also said something about Fulham’s ‘White Wall’, but we’re stilling laughing at that concept!
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