Slavisa Jokanovic has paid Rafa Benitez a compliment ahead of Saturday.

The Fulham boss saying his NUFC counterpart ‘is a big name in our competition’.

Though acknowledging that Rafa has won the Champions League, he declares that it is simply his job to beat him.

With a six match unbeaten run, Slavisa Jokanovic thinks Fulham with travel ‘in form and in confidence’.

The visiting manager says that he isn’t surprised Newcastle are top of the table at this stage of the season, believing that the Magpies deserve to be where they are and that they a ‘big team’ who made ‘great investments’ last summer.

Both managers were nominated for February’s manager of the month award earlier today and as well as seven unbeaten games last month, Rafa Benitez has altogether got an 11 match stretch without a defeat.

Fulham have a game in hand on all but Huddersfield above them and are now only five points behind sixth, so everything to play for still when it comes to the play-offs.

Despite their position competing at the right end of the table and in form, Fulham yesterday revealed that only 1,350 tickets had been sold so far for this Newcastle match.

However, Newcastle United have reported that there is only a handful of tickets still remaining in the home sections, so it look guaranteed to be a sellout, at least in all the home sections.

Slavisa Jokanovic:

“We need to concentrate and not make mistakes. 11 games are in front of us and we expect to fight for the top-six.

Rafa Benitez is a big name in our competition. He’s a good coach who has won the Champions League, but my job is to beat him.

“I am not surprised Newcastle are top. They made great investments and are a big team. They deserve to be there.

“All the games are tough, and this one is away against the top Championship team. But we go there in form and with confidence.

“We played a good game on Tuesday (1-1 home draw v Leeds) and I thought we did enough to get three points. But this game is behind us now.

“It (nomination for February manager of the month) is nice for my staff but my focus is on the Newcastle game which is in front of us.”

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