Jokanovic insists Fulham will keep ‘best players’ as they target promotion


Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has insisted his side will keep hold of their star performers despite missing out on promotion this season.

The Cottagers suffered play-off agony as Yann Kermorgant’s penalty secured a 1-0 victory, and 2-1 aggregate success, for Reading in their semi-final.

Ryan Sessegnon, who turns 17 on Thursday, and 13-goal midfielder Tom Cairney are expected to be the subject of interest from Premier League sides this summer.

Fulham’s Ryan Fredericks had admitted before the game that without promotion, Fulham may find it difficult to keep their key players.

But boss Jokanovic says he has assurances from the Craven Cottage board that his key men will be kept at the club to push for promotion next season.

“I expect our best players are going to stay with us,” he said. “That is the information I have from the board.

“Next season will be complicated, like every Championship season, but we are going to push to be a promoted team.”

Cairney, who scored Fulham’s goal in the drawn first leg in west London, is already looking towards next season and a push for automatic promotion.

“To lose to a penalty is just a really bad way to finish what has been a real high for Fulham Football Club,” he told the club’s official website.

“I suppose when we reflect and look back on it, the manager has turned the club around and brought the feelgood factor back.

“The fans realise that as well and I’m just sorry we couldn’t take them to Wembley.

“It’s been a joy to play in and a joy to listen to people talk about my team the way they have.

“From the season before when people said we we were relegation candidates, to now and at times to play some of the most attractive football in the Championship, we have to take that into next season.

“Hopefully we will keep everyone together and push for that top two.”