Scott Parker insisted Fulham would not give up on automatic promotion despite the 3-0 defeat at Leeds.
Fulham’s chances of a top-two finish look remote – and Brentford’s suffered a big blow – after Leeds took a massive step towards a return to the Premier League.
A win at Elland Road for fourth-placed Fulham would have taken them to within four points of second-placed West Brom, who lost at Brentford on Friday evening, and Leeds.
But goals from Patrick Bamford, Ezgjan Alioski and Jack Harrison took Leeds top of the table, with the Yorkshire club 10 points clear of Fulham and eight clear of Brentford, although the Bees are within five points of West Brom.
And the Whites could now have to contend with a suspension to 23-goal striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who appeared to elbow Ben White in the face early on.
Whites boss Parker said he did not see the incident.
He also admitted that reaching the top two would be a “big ask” after this result.
But he added: “I wouldn’t write it off yet. The reason being is we’re in a world where the unexpected can happen.
“The way division is, and you’ve seen in the first two games that can be the case.
“Our ambition is to still keep going and we will do that.”
Mitrovic escaped punishment but video evidence suggested he might well face retrospective action.
Bamford put Leeds ahead after 10 minutes by finishing coolly after being set up by Heldar Costa.
Fulham dominated much of the rest of the second half, with Mitrovic and Anthony Knockaert going close to an equaliser.
The visitors also felt they should have had a penalty for a handball by Tyler Roberts.
Fulham continued to threaten after the interval but Alioski doubled the hosts’ lead after collecting Pablo Hernandez’s pass.
Harrison slotted home the third to seal Leeds’ priceless victory.