Jokanovic proud Fulham stuck to style in Wembley win
Slavisa Jokanovic hailed Fulham's ability to stick to their principles under pressure as a 1-0 win at Wembley over Aston Villa secured promotion to the Premier League.
Tom Cairney's first-half goal settled a tight contest and Fulham held on for victory despite playing the last 20 minutes with 10 men following the dismissal of Denis Odoi, who caught Jack Grealish with a high boot.
Jokanovic has been linked with a switch to Chelsea, should the FA Cup winners dispense with Antonio Conte, but the Serbian was thrilled Fulham were able to follow through on his plan.
"I am so excited for my club, for these supporters," Jokanovic told Sky Sports. "We showed we could follow the style that we followed for the past two years, in this stadium.
"I'd have preferred to do the job earlier but, to be promoted at this place in front of these fans, I have to be satisfied. I'm happy with what my team offered today and how we played our football."
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) May 26, 2018
Captain Cairney predicted a bright future for Fulham following their return to the top flight.
"We knew we wouldn't shrink in this environment," Cairney said to Sky Sports. "The pitch suits us, with the way we play football.
"In my eyes, over the past two seasons, we've been the best team in this league. I signed a contract extension for a reason. I believe what we're doing here is something special."
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) May 26, 2018
While Fulham were left to celebrate their success, defeat was tough to take for Villa boss Steve Bruce, who rued refereeing decisions.
"We were disappointed with the first half," Bruce said. "We didn't do enough to ask them real questions. We did in the second half.
"For me, Ryan Fredericks should have been sent off. He stamped on Jack Grealish, right in front of me. In the second half, we were much better. We just needed a break, but we didn't get one.
"I was totally disappointed with the first half. We all are. With a big game, it's tough to swallow. But we're Aston Villa. We'll dust ourselves down next year and try and go one better."