Slavisa Jokanovic in prime position to enhance Fulham’s playing options

Wembley Stadium. Image PA

Wembley Stadium. Image PA

A 17th place finish the following season was followed by 20th place in 2015/16, and after missing out on promotion a year ago in the play-offs having ended in sixth, Slavisa Jokanovic's side finished the recently completed season in third before overcoming Derby County and now Steve Bruce's Villa.

In the second-half, Grealish was himself lucky not to see red after a wild lunging challenge on Cairney.

And, should Villa bring an end to two years outside of the promised lands of the Premier League, they will be determined to recruit properly to prepare themselves for next season.

The 18-year-old has been in fine form in the Championship this season, scoring 16 and recording eight assists including setting up Cairney's goal against Villa. Dropping into the Championship is about stabilising and adding quality players from Championship, players who are experienced and keeping your better players from the Premier League.

Saturday may be the day of the Champions League final but the financial implications of the second-tier showpiece - worth at least £160 million of additional revenue to the victor - dwarfs the Kiev showpiece.

Aston Villa can bounce back under Steve Bruce (Nigel French/PA).

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Fulham buzzed around them with far more zip and exuberance in the first half and made their pressure pay when Cairney scored what proved to be the decisive goal.

Aston Villa put everything into this season after having such a poor start last time out.

"The big moments of the game, the defining moments in a football match".

"He's shown many times that he is a great lad, great footballer and great worker". Ryan Fredericks certainly seemed to let the occasion better of him when he stamped on Jack Grealish on the half-hour mark. Fulham won the game 1-0, and are promoted to the Premier League.

"We believe we can play this way", he said. Exactly how many of them do remains to be seen; the same question may be asked of Fulham but, when his next test of wills comes around, Jokanovic should have a crashing overhead volley up his sleeve.

Villa, meanwhile, were struggling to get going, particularly in the last third and looked prone to conceding another goal.

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