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Slavisia Jokanovic says Fulham players must fight for their place | Football News

Fulham become first newly-promoted Premier League club to spend over £100m

Last Updated: 10/08/18 4:39pm








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Slavisia Jokanovic says Fulham needed to invest on their return to the Premier League

Slavisia Jokanovic says Fulham needed to invest on their return to the Premier League

Slavisa Jokanovic says he is not “Santa Claus” and does not need to keep players happy at Fulham, encouraging them to fight for their place.

Fulham spent over £100m this summer, following their promotion to the Premier League via the Sky Bet Championship play-offs, bringing in 12 players including Jean Michael Seri, Andre Schurrle, Alfie Mawson and Arsenal loanee Calum Chambers.

With the number of new signings and Fulham retaining key players including Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon, Jokanovic says he will not be trying to keep everyone happy and they must work for their place in his starting XI.

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“I am not Santa Claus, I don’t need to make anyone happy,” he said.

“I try to make hard and great competition between the players, this is the most competitive [league] in the world and they need to fight for their position in the training ground.

“My job is to pick a starting XI, this is my job.”

Jokanovic says Fulham’s primary goal this season is to survive in the Premier League, as he tempered expectation after the club’s busy transfer window.

Jean Michael Seri joined Fulham from Nice for an undisclosed fee Jean Michael Seri joined Fulham from Nice for an undisclosed fee

Jean Michael Seri joined Fulham from Nice for an undisclosed fee

Despite the investment made by the club, who were last relegated from the Premier League in 2014, Jokanovic says it is important they show ambition now they have built for the top flight.

Asked whether they were aiming for more than Premier League survival, with their signings increasing expectation levels, Jokanovic said: “For us it’s normal, we arrive from last into the Premier League and we need to adapt the team and to make investments and we made great investments, we expect this will help us be more competitive.

Fulham v Crystal Palace preview

Slavisa Jokanovic has tempered expectations at Fulham ahead of their season opener with Crystal Palace on Saturday.

“Our first target has to be to stay up, then we are talking about money. Money sometimes is important, sometimes it is not important.

“We can compare the situation with Spurs – they didn’t make any investment but they have a Premier League team. We start now to build one to try and be competitive in the Premier League.

“We came third in the Championship, we arrived here last and at it’s important and neccesary to show ambition and desire to be competitive and spend money to bring players who can help us.”

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