Martin Jol admitted Fulham’s magnificent travelling support were let down by the Whites in the 2-1 derby defeat to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
The lacklustre Whites survived a number of first-half scares to go in level at the break. But second-half strikes by Adel Taarabt meant substitute Mladen Petric’s late effort proved meaningless.
The Whites were backed by a strong away contingent, but Fulham gave them little to shout about and Jol said: “We should have played better for the supporters. But we didn’t take the initiative. I don’t think we deserved anything today.
“We’re very disappointed with our style of play. If you don’t concede you have a result. I can complain about the goals but, especially first half, we never earned the right to use our quality.
“We didn’t get the ball to our quality players and we looked a bit rigid, a bit static. I don’t think it’s attitude or application – our intentions were good – but we didn’t get in the flow. QPR were first to the ball all the time. Every ball we played forward was intercepted. They had a bit of quality as well.
“They had Taarabt today and you need to do something special. But we gave him the opportunity to shine and that is irritating. Football is simple, but we couldn’t do the simple things. We couldn’t play in the flow.”
Jol made just one change to his starting XI from the side that defeated Newcastle United 2-1 on Saturday. But it was a shadow of the performance that the Whites produced in the clash with the Magpies.
“Dimitar Berbatov did well in spells but he can’t do it all on his own,” said Jol. “I gave 10 out of the 11 players who started on Monday night a chance but too many players were not there. We had five or six players who weren’t as well as they could be. These are players who can dictate games.
“The second goal for example, was a mistimed tackle, so it was very cheap. And the first was a deflection. We tried to get in their half but our passing was sloppy and they could break us.”
One plus for Fulham was the impact a substitute made once again – this time Petric stepping off the bench to score late on to give Fulham a glimmer of hope.
“It wasn’t far away at the end,” mused Jol. “Every time we try to do something with a substitution, something happens. And it happened again today.”
But there were further blows for the Whites on a miserable afternoon at Loftus Road. Sascha Riether was replaced at half-time after suffering a back injury, while Steve Sidwell picked up a fifth yellow card of the season to sustain a one-match ban and rule himself out of Saturday’s trip to Liverpool.
“We’ll have to assess Riether but he had a problem with his back,” stated Jol. “He couldn’t go on after half-time. We have to play against Liverpool and Sidwell was booked so we will have to come up with a scenario. Bryan Ruiz is out as well which is not what you need but we will want to show what we can do.”