Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic says he cannot criticise his players after loss


Slavisa Jokanovic says his Fulham players must adapt to the Premier League

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic says he cannot criticise his players after their 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, and knows they can perform better.

Goals from Jeffrey Schlupp and Wilfried Zaha saw the Whites lost their first top flight game in four years, although they were the better side in the first half.

Jokanovic fielded seven new faces in his starting XI with some only spending a day training with the squad, and the manager refused to place the blame with his players.

“Really, I cannot criticise my players because they put everything into this moment that they can offer with some players only training for one day with the team,” he told Sky Sports.

“We must adapt ourselves and work towards our goals together and we trust that we can play better football than we did today.

“It was a shame, we wanted to start this competition with a positive result. We showed some positive things, obviously we need to improve many things and we are disappointed after this result.

“But we must keep going, keep working and we know we can play better football than we played today.”

One of the new players to start, Joe Bryan, was taken off in the 71st minute after picking up a knock to the ankle, adding to Jokanovic’s injury issues that plagued his team before the game.

He added: “[Bryan] has some kind of ankle injury and we maybe didn’t want to make these kind of changes, dropping Ryan Sessegnon into this kind of position and using Luciano Vietto who is another player who has only had one day with the team.

“We had some complicated [injury] situations before and during the game. In general, we created, we moved the ball when we had possession of it and we created some half chances in the opposition box.

“The Crystal Palace goalkeeper made some great saves but in the end, this team is new and we had two players that we incorporated yesterday to work with us.

“It was our first test in this competition and we know there is more power, more pace and more quality so we must adapt ourselves for this level.”