Slavisa Jokanovic insists he is ignoring gossip about his future as Fulham boss and remains fully focused on improving the team as they battle relegation.
Fulham are bottom of the Premier League table with just five points from their opening 11 games, and speculation has been intense regarding Jokanovic’s future.
Fulham owner Shahid Khan has said he wants to stay loyal to the manager, who led the club to promotion, but defeat to high-flying Liverpool on Sunday lunchtime is certain to increase pressure on the under-fire Craven Cottage boss.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the trip to Anfield, Jokanovic said: “I hear names, when we are here at bottom of the Premier League, I hear many names, it is a normal situation for all coaches in this situation.
“Gossip is part of this country and I am not surprised.
“It’s not a distraction for me, it’s part of this business, it’s not the first time in my job as a coach and it’s not new for other coaches. If I am thinking all the time about gossip then I will lose the focus about my work. I am thinking just about my work and finding a solution.
“I am always confident in myself, I believe in my players, my staff and people around us. We are where we are, it’s the Premier League and it’s a tough competition.
“We must take steps forward and cannot be happy with the start to the season – the gap from the bottom team is not especially big.
“We must show the confidence, keep working hard and move forward to get a solution.
“I don’t need to change anything, my mentality is always the same, to push my team to win the game to find brave people around me.
“We have to push harder and be more competitive and believe it is possible.
“It’s a battle, we are going to be tough, strong and show enough power – we must change the situation and make a step forward.”
Fulham face a Liverpool side who were beaten 2-0 by Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League during the week, and Jokanovic expects to come across a wounded team on Sunday.
He added: “Liverpool are coming off a defeat and they are hurt, but we are more than triple hurt than they are. We must put in triple effort and I expect my people are going to fight to make our supporters proud.
“Liverpool are a really dangerous team with important offensive weapons, we must show more ambition and be brave.
“If you are scared and play like kids then it’s not easy.”