Jokanovic ready for tough encounter with London rivals

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic expects tomorrow’s encounter with Millwall to be very different to Tuesday’s remarkable 5-4 win over Sheffield United.

The victory over the Blades showcased the best and worst of the west London outfit, with scintillating attacking play closely followed by worrying defensive lapses.

Millwall are unlikely to be as gung-ho as Chris Wilder’s men and Jokanovic feels that the team from south of the Thames will prove stubborn opposition.

“This space we found against Sheffield United won’t exist against Millwall. In this situation we need to find a different solution.

“We must to patient and find the quality. If the spaces don’t exist, we must force this kind of situation and break down an organised defence.”

Fulham’s form at Craven Cottage has been a cause for concern this season, with their only win at home this season coming against Hull on 13 September and Jokanovic feels the drought can end against the Lions.

“I believe Millwall is a less talented team than us, but they compete very well. We need to respect the opponent. We can win the game, but we must push strongly for the three points.”

“It’s true, we are not comfortable enough at home. We’ve made mistakes in both boxes, we haven’t been clinical like we were in the last game. However, we cannot always expect to score five goals.”

Star of the show in South Yorkshire in midweek was Ryan Sessegnon, his stock continued to rise with a stunning hat-trick which set the internet abuzz.

The 17-year-old has played both at left-back and as a left winger and Jokanovic does not feel the need to confine the precociously talented youngster to one position.

“He can play both positions. I am a football coach, not a tennis coach. I must look out for my team.

“Last season I used Ryan in both positions too and used Scott Malone at left-back. In the last few games, I had Denis Odoi in that position, with Ryan a little further forward.

“After three goals on Tuesday, people must be happy and satisfied with the performance of a 17-year-old. His clinical finishing impressed us all.

“I use Ryan for the benefit of the team and this depends on many things, it depends on the different games and whether other people are available or not.”

Sessegnon’s increased profile may attract unwanted attention from defenders determined to stifle him, but Jokanovic noted that Fulham have a number of strings to their bow.

“Sheyi Ojo scored two goals on Tuesday, Floyd Ayite helped us so much and Tom Cairney improved step by step. He is at his best level this season, but he can still be better.

“Every manager knows Ryan Sessegnon. He is not a new player in this competition. He can’t surprise like one year ago and I believe all coaches are trying to think how to stop this player.”

Ayite sustained a hamstring injury during the match at Bramall Lane and, along with Lucas Piazon, they are the only absentees in the Fulham squad as the team look to get back on track in SW6. It is Jokanovic’s priority.

“We are not happy with our level at home and it’s a new chance to make our supporters and ourselves happier.

“We must try to be strong, try to be focused and push hard to win the game.”

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