Jokanovic insists Fulham are on the up despite winless 2016 run causing mounting relegation fears

Fulham 1-1 Derby

Slaviša Jokanović lamented missed chances as Fulham continued their winless run in 2016 after drawing with Derby County.

The Cottagers were fortunate not to fall behind early on when Richard Keogh’s headed effort struck the bar for the visitors, who are themselves without a league win since the turn of the year.

But a comical own goal from Rams debutant Marcus Olsson, after Luke Garbett’s cross had initially ricocheted off former Craven Cottage favourite Chris Baird, gave the home side the lead before Craig Bryson’s superb volley levelled matters just before half time against the run of play.

“I’m a football coach and I’m only happy when we win games,” Jokanović told the club website.

“We competed all game and tried to hold on to possession of the ball, we started to be brave and play some football and in my opinion we have improved.”

The draw saw Fulham, with just one win since October, stay 19th, just four points above the bottom three and in line for another relegation battle.

But it was a performance that merited more against their promotion-chasing opposition, only for a flury of wasted chances to again mean they missed out on three points.

Front pairing Moussa Dembélé and Ross McCormack started the game after seeing moves away from the club collapse during the January transfer window.

Dembélé’s proposed transfer to Tottenham fell through after the North London’s club’s refusal to loan the 19-year-old Frenchman back Fulham, while McCormack courted interest from Middlesbrough.

And they both squandered chances as first Dembélé headed wide just past the hour mark from a Jamie O’Hara corner and in the dying embers of the game McCormack saw his effort ripple the side netting.

The game also saw Fernando Amorebieta return to the starting 11 following the end of his loan spell with promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough.

Jokanović said: “Fernando is an experienced player, he has played many years at the highest level and he knows the Championship.

“I believe he made a great performance and he can be an important player, he’s back with us and I expect he can improve our team.”

Fulham now have two consecutive away fixtures as first they travel to Loftus Road to play London rivals Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, before travelling north to face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park next Tuesday.

Image courtesy of Fulham FC, via YouTube, with thanks

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