Fulham assistant boss Christian Damiano says the early loss of Alain Goma with a hamstring injury led to Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Everton.
The Cottagers were unbeaten in their previous four games going into the weekend clash at Goodison Park, and had kept cleansheets in their last three matches.
With Goma an established choice in the defence, Damiano felt Fulham lost their resilience when the Frenchman departed the pitch on 27 minutes to be replaced by Andy Melville.
"We're disappointed with the result," said Jean Tigana's right-hand man.
"We had been fantastic early on but then we lost Goma with what could be a hamstring injury, and that affected us.
"In the end, Everton had more chances and deserved to win."
Damiano does not think too much should be made of the melee at the end of the game and added: "When two teams are competing like they were, there's going to be physical contact and there are bound to be incidents, but it didn't look like anything really serious happened."
The Cottagers now have four days to prepare for Thursday's Uefa Cup first-round second-leg tie with Croatian side Hajduk Split, and Damiano says they will need the time to recover.
"We had played a very tough game with Chelsea in the week - maybe we were tired and fatigued from that," he concluded.
Source: Team Talk