Jokanovic warns of ‘expensive price’ of poor defending

Fulham: Slavisa Jokanovic.

Boss Slavisa Jokanovic warned his Fulham players they may yet pay “a very expensive price” for their poor defending after a 5-0 defeat to Brighton.

The thrashing at the Amex Stadium, which included a hat-trick for Tomer Hemed, took Fulham’s goals conceded for the season to 72 – and 240 in 126 league games since the start of the 2013-14 season.

Jokanovic was particularly concerned about his side’s inability to deal with corners and free-kicks.

He said: “This is more than 30 goals we’ve conceded [from set pieces].

“In total, in the last years 83 and 85 and this year 73. This is simply a disaster.

“In this way you cannot compete for important things, if you want to be competitive next season.

“And we need to be thinking still about this season. We are not safe with this mentality and this attitude. We can pay a very high and a very expensive price.”

Jokanovic refused to criticise the decision to award a penalty against Richard Stearman, which led to Brighton’s opener against the run of play.

He added: “This is the 11th penalty [Fulham have conceded] this season. We need to concentrate and not put the referee in a dilemma as to whether it’s a penalty or not.

“Generally we offered Brighton so many easy ways for them to win the points.

“At the beginning we stuck to the plan, we try and move the ball, we had possession. At the end they scored five goals and we can be satisfied they didn’t score more.”