Fulham defender Dejan Stefanovic insists his team-mates are eager to express themselves after casting off the shackles of Lawrie Sanchez's long-ball tactics.Sanchez was sacked two weeks ago after presiding over the Cottagers' slide into the relegation zone with a run of four Barclays Premier League defeats in five games. His direct gameplan alienated sections of the dressing room and Stefanovic has revealed the players have embraced the new approach taken by his successor Roy Hodgson. 'We are playing more of a passing game now, which hasn't been the case in the past,' he said. 'We have the players to play football at this club - internationals who are capable of it. But in some games in the past we did not play football. 'I can't blame the previous manager as that was his style and everyone is different. Sometimes it was frustrating for the team. 'If you have the personnel to play football but they are asked to do something different, it becomes frustrating for the players. 'Now I'm looking forward to working with the new manager.' Stefanovic believes Fulham were right to axe Sanchez as the former Northern Ireland coach had taken the club has far as he could in his brief spell at Craven Cottage. 'We were unlucky to lose a couple of games but I couldn't see it getting any better if we continued in the way we were,' he said. 'The board decided to change the manager and now we must see what we can do under him in order to survive.' Fulham may be embroiled in a relegation battle but Stefanovic insists tomorrow's FA Cup clash with Bristol Rovers is not being dismissed as an irrelevance. 'The FA Cup is big for the clubs and supporters. Everyone wants to go to Wembley,' he said. 'We are taking it very seriously because every game is important at this club. 'There are not that many games between the third round and final. 'With a bit of luck we can put on a run. We want to get a win under our belts.'