Scott Parker said his Fulham side fell short of his expectations for the first time this season after a dismal 3-0 defeat at home against Hull.
Having battled resolutely with 10 men to earn a point at Middlesbrough last weekend, the Whites found themselves behind early on when substitute Maxime Le Marchand lost sight of the ball before former Fulham academy player Josh Bowler steered it home – much to Parker’s irritation.
“It was a tough day,” Parker said. “Today’s probably the one day this season I say I’m disappointed with the way we played, the result, and the way things panned out. I didn’t think we were where we needed to be.
“I felt an edginess in the stadium. We came off a positive result at Middlesbrough – albeit a draw – I was really pleased with the team, the attitude and desire they showed.
“But a game of football’s always difficult when you go a goal down early on. I’m disappointed with the way that goal went in.
“We’ve had defeats this year at home, but I just feel that we were flat. We were playing against arguably the best counter-attacking team in this division with the three players they have up front – they exploited that in the first goal.
“When you go a goal down in this division, it proves difficult.”
He added: “When they scored first, I felt we were in the ascendancy.
“We had a couple of half-decent chances; Mitro has a good chance just on the stroke of half-time that didn’t fall.
“Going in at half-time I felt that, if we can stick with this and get it in the right areas, we’ll break this team down. That wasn’t the case. They go and score a second, and from that point it proved bitterly difficult for us.
“They defended very well. We tried to mix up the game, get it in wide areas and cross, try and go longer later in the game, and they dealt with that well.
“Teams come here and we’re a big scalp for them, and rightly so. I get that. We need to keep living up to that challenge and go from there.”
Boos rang out around Craven Cottage at the final whistle, with the result leaving the Whites just outside the playoff places after a third of the season gone.
But Parker believes result is a mere blip as his team fight to get back to winning ways.
“Ultimately, what will determine how successful I am personally, and how successful this team are, is moments like this,” he said.
“Cliché as it is, we’ve got to bounce back. That’s the world we’re in. One defeat and people are pointing fingers. We need to go again.”