Slavisa Jokanovic claims he saw “some kind of improvement” from his Fulham side despite their 2-0 Carabao Cup fourth-round defeat by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.
The Cottagers chief opted to limit the amount of changes to his starting XI from last Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League home defeat against Bournemouth to just three, while there was a boost as influential midfielder Tom Cairney returned from injury to make his first appearance since August.
However, while City boss Pep Guardiola opted to make 10 changes to his side, given that they played against Tottenham at Wembley in a league game on Monday night, the hosts dominated throughout and progressed to the quarter-finals courtesy of a brace from Spanish teenager Brahim Diaz.
Despite his side struggling in the Premier League and facing three games in nine days, Jokanovic said he wanted to “respect the competition” and progress into the next round.
However, he will now quickly switch his focus to a huge league game at Huddersfield on Monday as the Terriers sit at the bottom of the table and are without a win in 10 matches this season.
Fulham have now lost five games in a row in all competitions, but Jokanovic had some reasons to be cheerful when assessing the players’ performance against City.
He said: “We’ve seen some kind of improvement in this game for sure.
In the end I am unhappy with the result but there are at least some positive signs that I want to look to.”
Fulham are 3.30 to win at the John Smith’s Stadium, while Huddersfield are 2.50 to come out on top on home soil and the draw is 3.30.