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Former Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic leading contender for Sheffield job

last updated Friday 23rd April 2021, 10:59 AM

Fulham Football Club

Slavisa Jokanovic
First Team Head Coach
Slavisa Jokanovic
Slavisa Jokanovic
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Former Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic remains one of the leading contenders for the Sheffield United manager's vacancy.

The former Fulham and Watford boss is currently working out in Qatar. But it is understood he is keen on a return to English football, upon the impending expiry of his contract with Al-Gharafa.

Should the Blades' hierarchy reach an agreement with the 52-year-old then they would not only be getting a double promotion winner, but also someone with an interesting slant on the tactics employed and required in modern day football.

Speaking to the Coaches' Voice, Jokanovic outlined his philosophy upon joining Fulham back in 2015.

At the time he joined, in December of that year, the side were struggling in the lower reaches of the Championship and it would not be until his first full season that they began their upward trajectory.

The 2016-17 season saw the Cottagers lose out in the play-offs at the semi-final stage to Reading before they came back the year after and overcame Aston Villa in the Wembley final to seal promotion to the Premier League.

Despite guiding Fulham to the top flight, the Serb was dismissed after just 12 games.

But it was the brand of football that he got Fulham playing that won him plenty of admirers.

Regarding the style of play, Jokanovic said: "This style, before us, didn't exist. This is clear. When we came to Fulham, we observed what we had in our hands.

"At the beginning, so the first six months, they were complicated for us. We didn't find a clear way of how we were going to play in this period where we were fighting through a difficult period.

"Then the second year we started pre-season with a new team, new players and tried to find a clear way, step-by-step and a way to build some kind of style.

"At the end, it was recognised we played good football. We believe in this direction and it's an easier way for this group of players to win games."

Those points about assessing the group he inherited before deciding on a suitable formation will be music to the ears of many Blades' fans.

United supporters have grown accustomed to the club's unique formation, perfected by predecessor Chris Wilder. A ripping up of this would be perhaps understandable by any new manager but it is clearly something Jokanovic would be loathe to do upon immediately entering a new environment.

Another key admission made by Jokanovic is his willingness to sometimes sacrifice silk for steel.

If he does arrive at Bramall Lane, the unforgiving nature of the Championship almost demands that results are more often that not prioritised above performances.

To this end, he said: "I understand that in football it's only results that are important.

Source Ricky Charlesworth at Yorkshire Live
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