Fulham boss admits mistake and praises Baird

Fulham: Slavisa Jokanovic.

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic said his half-time double substitution made all the difference against Charlton – and admitted he got his starting line-up wrong.

The Whites won 3-0 at Craven Cottage but had problems before and after Tom Cairney’s first-half opener.

Jokanovic responded by sending on Chris Baird, who returned to Fulham this week on loan from Derby, and Michael Madl.

Baird, a fans favourite from his six-year spell at the club, shored things up in midfield and recent loan signing Madl marked his home debut with a goal.

Cairney scored twice for the Whites
Cairney scored twice for the Whites

The outstanding Cairney netted his second and his team’s third to complete what turned out to be a resounding victory.

Jokanovic said: “It was a good win for us. We scored three goals, made another clean sheet, scored from set-pieces and with Chris we found a balance – that was the good news.

“The bad news was that in the first 45 minutes I wasn’t very happy. They were counter-attacking us and I take responsibility for that, because the players tried more or less what I asked.

“We scored a goal and started winning, but I wasn’t happy. I tried to find solutions, played a different way to find the balance and we played better football.”

There was also praise for Cairney, whose second goal – a terrific volley from near the edge of the penalty area – capped a fine display.

“He is a quality player,” Jokanovic said. “We’ve started using him more in the middle and we think he can offer us more things in this position.”