Jokanovic plays down importance of Cardiff clash

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Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic has played down the significance of Saturday’s fixture at relegation rivals Cardiff.

A defeat would represent struggling Cardiff’s first victory of the Premier League season and drag Fulham into the bottom three.

Even if Jokanovic’s inconsistent team have a chance to build some momentum amid the speculation surrounding his future, he said: “After this is 29 games more. The end of the game is not the end of the Premier League.

“If we win, (there is a) long period ahead of us and we will find more tough afternoons after this game. If we lose, it’s the same, there are 29 more games.

“It’s not the last game for us or Cardiff; we must focused and ready.

“All the games are important, it’s not close to the end, this season we will finish in middle of May.

“There are 90 points ahead of us to fight for; next chance is chance to fight for three points and we will be ready.

“We need the points, they need the points; it will make a tough game and we must be ready.”

Saturday’s fixture between Jokanovic’s team and Neil Warnock’s will also test their vastly different approaches.

Fulham spent more than £100million on new players after their promotion while Cardiff’s investment was minimal; both have also so far struggled to adapt to the Premier League with their respective expansive and direct styles of play.

The 50-year-old Jokanovic, who also remains without the injured Joe Bryan and Tom Cairney, said: “Probably we will have possession because Cardiff are not so interested about this. But they have important weapons in this squad and we must take care about set-pieces, second phases, long throws.

“They always play a strong, physical game. They are strong and this is the weapons they use.

“We have the plan for the game; it’s important to stick with it and trust ourselves.”

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