Fulham boss Scott Parker was disappointed by his side’s sloppy first-half performance in their defeat against Everton at Craven Cottage.
The Whites conceded within the first minute and shipped three goals within the opening 35, which they were ultimately unable to claw back.
And, despite their spirited attempts late on, Parker was left frustrated with how his players battled in the early stages.
“I take the positives from the second half,” he said.
“It was a good performance, but my main thought is on the first half in terms of the way we approached the game. We were second-best in a lot of things.
“We showed our quality and got our noses back into it at 1-1, but in terms of duels, 50-50s, putting your mark on the football match and doing the basics, we didn’t do that well enough. We gave ourselves a real uphill task, conceding three goals.
“In saying that, the second half was much more improved. We changed it around a little bit in terms of tactics, but I don’t think that was the main thing coming out of this game why we performed like we did in the second half.”
He continued: “It was exactly what we missed in the first half, in terms of understanding the battles and the fundamentals of the football match, which we were much better at.
“Certainly, in the first half, we fell short of that. And that disappoints me. It really disappoints me.”
Fulham came out on top after the restart and pinned the Toffees back, with Ivan Cavaleiro missing a penalty before Ruben Loftus-Cheek registered his first goal for the club.
It made Parker, who evidently shared his feelings in the dressing room during the break, describe the difference between the halves as “chalk and cheese”.
“I can’t really put my finger on it, to be honest. Of course, there were individual errors,” he added. “Ultimately, when you’re playing in the Premier League, you need to show the basics. And we just fell short.
“In the second half, there was a reaction, yes. But it shouldn’t come from a rollicking at half time. This team can produce what was missing in the first half. And we’ve shown that over the course of this season.
“We’re a quality team. But at the same time, we have deficiencies. It’s a young team with new players.
“We can cause teams problems and be successful this year. I know that for sure.”