Sheffield United: What Slavisa Jokanovic said about his old colleague Scott Parker as they prepare to lock horns at AFC Bournemouth
Slavisa Jokanovic has insisted the fact he and Scott Parker know each other’s methods inside out will have no bearing on this weekend’s meeting between their two teams, predicting the outcome is likely to be decided by whoever performs on the day rather than strategy and tactics.
Confirming he has no plans to unveil a change of approach in order to catch his counterpart at AFC Bournemouth by surprise, Jokanovic also dismissed suggestions his greater experience could give Sheffield United an edge during Saturday’s match at the Vitality Stadium.
“More or less, he knows what my philosophy is and what our targets are,” said Jokanovic, who managed Parker at Fulham before appointing him to his coaching staff in west London. “I understand what is style is too.
“Of course, he will check what our strengths and weaknesses are. Just the same as we will do with them. But no game is the same, they all unfold differently. We have never been in this situation with each other before, with our teams playing against each other. In any case, I am not thinking about Scott Parker the person at this stage. I am thinking about Scott Parker’s team.”
Parker, who also spent two seasons in charge at Craven Cottage before moving to Dorset over the summer, played under Jokanovic in the capital and has spoken in the past about his respect for the Serb. Bournemouth are unbeaten in the Championship this term, with their only defeat since August coming during a trip to Norwich City in the Carabao Cup. United are 13th as they adjust to life under Jokanovic, having appointed him following their relegation from the Premier League last term.
“Scott was my player and my assistant and I am happy to see him making good progress in his coaching career,” said Jokanovic. “We have a relationship and I can say that I have collaborated in his life as a coach.
“But now he is my rival. This is football. They want to win. We want to win. This is normal in our business. For me, it is not difficult. You are professional before and during the game. Only afterwards do you think about anything personal.”