Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic finds himself increasingly under pressure ahead of a trip to third-placed Liverpool on Sunday, reports Sky Sports .
Fulham go into the game bottom of the Premier League following Monday’s 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield, where the Cottagers managed only one shot on target over the entire 90 minutes.
Jokanovic did not mince his words when previewing the trip to Anfield, their last game ahead of the international break, and laid the blame on the efforts of his players.
“We chose an ugly way to lose the game,” he said. “You must be proud, competitive and fight at the last moment and make extra effort.
Slavisa Jokanovic insists he is ignoring gossip about his future as Fulham boss. “We are right now not showing this quality or effort, we must wake up and when we lose the game we must know how we lost it; we cannot sell our skin so cheap. A few times before games I say my team is ready for the fight, but are not showing effort or ambition and we must change this. We must accept this situation and go outside our comfort zone, because this didn’t bring us a good result. We must shake our hands, push harder; I don’t believe this is impossible.”
Jurgen Klopp lamented the atmosphere around his Liverpool side despite their bright start to the season, with 27 points from their first 11 games. Klopp’s side have been less successful in Europe, losing two of their four Champions League games so far, but the German said their successes overall had been overshadowed.
“The season so far-wise, points-wise in the Premier League, has been really successful,” he said.
Jurgen Klopp says this season doesn’t feel as successful as last year and has warned his Liverpool players they have to improve.
“But it doesn’t really feel like that because there are two reasons in comparison with last year: free-flowing football in a few games and Man City and maybe Chelsea and a few others play a very good season as well. It feels a bit like this season can only be a success if we become champions this year. In a year our competitors are the champions of last year, the champions of two years ago, a more refreshed Arsenal and a more experienced Tottenham and Manchester United. That’s a really tough job but we have no problem with that, we go for everything. We have to build on our situation, we have to get better, to get more confidence out of the season.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and fellow midfielder Naby Keita are both available as Liverpool welcome Fulham to Anfield at midday on Sunday.
The pair have been sidelined for a number of weeks due to hamstring injuries but will be included in the squad alongside defender Joe Gomez, who has been struggling with an Achilles issue recently.
Xherdan Shaqiri will also come into contention, having been left at home for the Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade in an attempt to reduce local hostilities. The 27-year-old, of Kosovar-Albanian descent, angered Serbian fans with his ‘Albanian Eagle’ celebration at the World Cup.
Fulham are expected to be without Kevin McDonald and Joe Bryan for Sunday’s fixture at Liverpool. Both are struggling with hamstring injuries and are likely to miss out.
Cottagers boss Jokanovic is expected to make further changes to his team following their disappointing defeat at Huddersfield on Monday.