Eddie Howe says Slavisa Jokanovic has his full respect, but not his sympathy, after Fulham’s tough start to life back in the Premier League.
Bournemouth visit Craven Cottage on Saturday looking to build on their excellent form that sees them in sixth place, 10 points better off than they were at this stage last season.
Fulham’s defeat to Cardiff last weekend saw them drop into the relegation zone, with Jokanovic’s side being punished for their open, attacking brand of football.
Howe said: “I have respect for Jokanovic, but not sympathy.
“I know he’s an outstanding coach and you can see his work on the pitch with how his team plays.
“They’ve got some very good players, a good way of playing and we know we’ll have to be at the top of our game to win.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for their manager who led Watford to promotion.
“He’s done the same with Fulham and that’s not easy to do, with two different clubs. He has my full respect.
“The style of play is one that draws a lot of praise, a lot of plaudits last year for the way they did it.
“They haven’t changed and they haven’t adapted that, they’re trying to enhance that this season and I’ve got a lot of respect for that way of working.”
Howe stressed that there are no guarantees in the Premier League, particularly when playing away from home, and said he is expecting a tough game.
“This start to the season means everything because you’re immersed in your work and this is your life,” said Howe.
“It has been a pleasant start for us, but I think that’s all it is.
“We know how tough the Premier League is and how quickly football can change, so we’re very much focused on the next match.”
And Howe was cautious of letting his standards slip on the training ground simply because of the Cherries’ promising league position, saying that the hard work was continuing in earnest.
“It’s a place where we work hard, where I set high standards for the players and try and push them in a productive and positive way, so they reach their maximum levels,” he added.
“I’m not sure if ‘buzz’ is the word they would use to describe it, but it’s a good place.
“I love being there, I love working with the players, their attitude to the work is second to none and it’s an enjoyable place to be.”
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