Sunday 18 November 2018

Fulham boss still confident

Fulham 0 Crystal Palace 2

Crystal Palace's Jeffrey Schlupp celebrates scoring his side's first goal. Photo: Reuters
Crystal Palace's Jeffrey Schlupp celebrates scoring his side's first goal. Photo: Reuters

Declan Warrington

Slavisa Jokanovic vowed that Fulham will improve and adjust to the demands of the Premier League after watching them lose on their return, at home to Crystal Palace.

After his team's promising start was followed by numerous wasted goalscoring chances, Palace punished their brief lapses in intensity and concentration to secure all three points through finishes from Jeffrey Schlupp and Wilfried Zaha.

Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt in action with Fulham's Cyrus Christie. Photo: Reuters
Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt in action with Fulham's Cyrus Christie. Photo: Reuters

Their clinical performance demonstrated the qualities Fulham will have to develop if they are to preserve their Premier League status while continuing to play so expansively, but having handed full debuts to six summer signings Jokanovic was "confident" that that would come.

"These new players have had two training sessions," said the Fulham manager. "I trust we will play better than we played today. We'll work hard and adapt ourselves for the games ahead.

"I'm confident. It's a tough job ahead of us. So we must be optimists and trust in ourselves. We showed we can be brave, but were a bit shy in the end. We had 15 shots to Palace's 10.

Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey excelled in consistently denying Fulham, having been preferred to summer signing Vicente Guaita, with manager Roy Hodgson justified in his decision to keep faith with the Welshman: "(Hennessey) finished the end of the season exceptionally well. Both goalkeepers have done well in pre-season; I had no reason to take the shirt from Wayne.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson applauds fans after the match. Photo: Reuters
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson applauds fans after the match. Photo: Reuters

"Slavisa is probably not unhappy with the way his team played, but unhappy with the result. We scored two very good goals," Hodgson added.

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