Slavisa Jokanovic praises 'special' Ryan Sessegnon after Fulham make play-off final
Last Updated: 14/05/18 11:12pm
Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has heaped praise on Ryan Sessegnon after the teenager inspired their passage to the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.
The Cottagers were trailing by one goal to Derby after the first leg of their semi-final, but Sessegnon struck the equaliser at Craven Cottage on Monday night before assisting Denis Odoi's winner, securing a 2-1 aggregate win and a trip to Wembley.
"He's focused and concentrated on improving himself, he's shown a great level of self-belief and he's clinical when the ball arrives to him in the box," said Jokanovic. "He wants to be top level and push himself and I'm sure he'll be at that level soon.
"He's 17-years-old and he's special. At this stage [of his career] it's really fantastic, but at the end he knows it's about focusing and concentrating if he wants to prove himself, but he did a great job for us and himself."
Jokanovic also reserved plaudits for man-of-the-match Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has played a key role after joining on loan from Newcastle midway through the season.
"He's special for us, he didn't score tonight but he did a fantastic job for us," said Jokanovic. "He understands very well the different moments of the game and he's showed his quality."
Fulham dominated for virtually the entire game at Craven Cottage on Monday night, and Jokanovic believes they have answered some of their critics after losing their final game of the season at Birmingham to miss out on automatic promotion and being beaten in the first leg of the tie at Pride Park on Friday.
"We played fantastic football, we controlled everything, created many chances and didn't give them many opportunities," the Fulham boss continued. "In the first half we were unlucky but in the second half we pushed stronger and scored two fantastic goals. We're very satisfied for the team and for our supporters, who deserve one of these nights.
"I've been asked many times about our self-belief and confidence but today we were really focused and organised and played close to perfect today. We have to be satisfied with that."
For Fulham, it was a first victory in a play-off match and it will be a first trip to Wembley in 43 years. Jokanovic insists, however, that the job is not done yet.
"We've beaten many records this year and we're really proud and happy, but we know it's not enough yet just to take the fans to Wembley," he said. "We need to start working for this game because the whole season will depend on it.
"It's important we show enough quality and confidence to win the game, but for now we'll clear our minds and rest our bodies to prepare."
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