Fulham boss focused on ‘huge’ Wembley clash


Slavisa Jokanovic says he is focused solely on Fulham’s date with destiny on Saturday and not speculation about his future.

Jokanovic leads the Whites into this weekend’s Championship play-off final against Aston Villa, knowing victory would end a four-year hiatus from the Premier League.

His work in making Fulham one of the most attractive teams to watch this season has seen him linked to a return to Chelsea – where he was a player in the early 2000s – with Antonio Conte’s position remaining in doubt.

But that is not going to be a distraction to the Serb, who took over at Craven Cottage in 2015 and turned the club from relegation battlers to promotion contenders.

“I have an important enough job this moment to think about this kind of thing,” he said. “I am thinking only about the final, I don’t have time to think about things like this.

“We are not thinking about my future, I am not talking about players’ future.

“The only important thing is Saturday afternoon. I have the contract, this game is so huge, so massive.

“I don’t know what I am going to do on Sunday morning, only what is immediately ahead of us.

“At the end I am here for two-and-a-half years, when I arrived we were fighting relegation battle.

“We showed clear improvement and we want to fight for bringing Fulham to a place where we believe we belong. We are in with a chance.”

© Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Jokanovic’s men had a brilliant campaign, going on a 23-game unbeaten run, but missed out on automatic promotion on the final day.

They overcame that disappointment to beat Derby in the semi-finals and Jokanovic wants his side to “cross the magic line” at Wembley.

He said: “We are now at the front of an important chance. We are going to follow our style and be confident we will cross the line.

“There is a huge job ahead of myself. It is an opportunity for a side to be part of the best league in the world.

“That is a big motivation for us. Behind us is one great season but we can’t think about past games.

“We have one opportunity to cross the magic line. I am thinking about the 90 minutes, the 120 minutes if we need it. We are ready for everything.

“We are playing a massive club, we know what we are going to face.

“It’s a huge game, it can be a Premier League game, but not next season.

“This is the final, an important game and everyone wants to do what they can do to make the step.”