Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic has encouraged his players “to not cry so much” after they slipped to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in the last 16 of the EFL Cup.
A brace from Spanish youngster Brahim Diaz was enough to sink the Cottagers who, despite the result, showed more defensive resilience than they have done in their recent Premier League outings.
Nevertheless, Jokanovic believes his players must continue working hard in order to turn things around, admitting that he thinks his side have the capabilities to do so.
“This game served to show us that we can be a little bit more organised, make less mistakes, show we can be a team off the ball, too,” Jokanovic said, as quoted by Fulham’s official website.
“I believe in myself, I must believe in my team. We know it’s not an easy job ahead of us, [but] it wasn’t easy last season, the season before, or three seasons ago when we were fighting not to be relegated.
“We need to not cry so much, and try to find a solution. We are in a situation where our supporters expect a better performance, and we are working in this direction.”
Despite slipping to defeat, Jokanovic was somewhat upbeat about his team’s performance, with the Serbian admitting that he can take positives from the game.
“At the end of the day, we made some positive things, we showed some better kind of the defensive organisation than in the past, and we continued our learning and improving process.
“We played against City’s second team, if I can call this a second team. In this team was [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Vincent] Kompany, [Gabriel] Jesus, and these kinds of players.
“We tried to play football, be competitive and show our best face to pass into the next round. This game served to show us that we can be a little bit more organised, make less mistakes, show we can be a team off the ball, too.”
“I’m unhappy with the result but some positives exist that I look at with optimism.”
The Fulham boss will now focus his attentions on a crucial Premier League fixture against Huddersfield on Monday at the John Smith’s Stadium – a game which he claims is vital to both sides chances of survival.
“It’s a really important game for both teams,” Jokanović admitted. “We are going to go there with every intention of winning the game.
“It’s not the last game in the Premier League. Victory would be a really important step for us, but it’s definitely not the last step. If we don’t take this step there’s still a long period for us to do everything to reach our targets.”