Slavisa Jokanovic was impressed with Boro’s “great ambition and important investments” in the summer and isn’t one bit surprised to see Garry Monk’s side challenging at the the top end of the Championship.
But while admitting his Fulham team face one of the toughest tests in the league this weekend, he says the hosts will be looking to make it a very difficult afternoon for Boro.
Yet with Fulham still struggling to find their feet in the Championship this season despite being hotly tipped for promotion, Jokanovic makes Boro favourites for Saturday afternoon’s intriguing match-up.
“Boro showed great ambition and made important investments, especially for some important Championship players,” said the former Watford boss at his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon.
“They are very powerful in front of goal and from another side they are a very experienced team.
“I am not surprised that they are near the top of the table right now. In this moment they are the favourites but we are going to do everything to mark our territory in our stadium, and put them under stress, and do everything to win the game.
“This is one of the toughest games in the Championship against one of the more quality teams in the competition, but I am sure we’re going to be motivated and try to fix some problems because after the last game it’s not such an especially happy week behind us.”
It’s been a slow start to the season for Fulham who, having reached the play-offs last season and retained key players such as Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon in the summer, have won just two of their first eight games.
And they go into this weekend’s game on the back of a slightly surprising 2-1 loss at Burton Albion last time out when Jokanovic’s side had 15 shots on goal but failed to make their dominance count.
“This is our chance to fix this problem,” the manager told Fulham’s club website.
“We have three games in seven days in front of us and we must fight for three points against Boro , and be ready for the Forest and QPR games that are immediately after.
“It’s a team who play very good football but it’s a team who I expect will give us an option, too. My team must be ready. We create many chances, but these chances need to be finished.”
He added: “You must always be confident.
“I am a 49-year-old man, I lost a huge number of games as a coach and as a football player, but I still didn’t lose my confidence. I always believe I’m going to win the next game.
“I must be happy with the work my players offered on the training ground and it’s time to bring this work to Craven Cottage and try to find our best performance.
“I expect we can have enough power and quality to offer a better performance and to be more competitive and fight for three points on Saturday afternoon when we play against Boro.”