Aaron Hughes left Upton Park frustrated on Saturday that Fulham were unable to force an equaliser when they were just one goal down.
West Ham United took the lead shortly after half-time but failed to build on their goal until late strikes from the two Coles – Carlton and Joe – made their victory all the more substantial.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” Aaron told fulhamfc.com. “They started brightly and put us on the back foot. They had a few half-chances and hit the post but we felt if we weathered that we’d be able to get a foot in the game.
“To go in level at half-time, we were happy enough with that. Obviously the goal early on in the second half knocked us back but there was still plenty of time for us to get back in the game.
“After we conceded we probably enjoyed our best spell of the game. For the next 25 minutes we were well in the game and it looked like we might get something but the second goal with just under 10 minutes to go was a sucker punch.
“We tried to push forward and left ourselves exposed at the back and conceded another. If you look at the score it’s a bad defeat but up until 80 or so minutes, we were right in it.”
The match proved to be Martin Jol’s final outing as Fulham Manager, and Hughes called for everyone to stick together as the Whites go about ending the run of five consecutive Barclays Premier League defeats.
“We’ve just got to keep going and believing in ourselves,” the centre-back said. “When you’re in the middle of a bad run the last thing you want to do is let your head drop, feel sorry for yourself and make excuses.
“We just have to all pull together and try and get through this busy period coming up when there are a lot of games and you can pick up a lot of points quickly. We have to try and be positive and take the things we’re doing on the training pitch into games.”
Two matches at Craven Cottage this week provide ideal opportunities for Fulham to return to form, and Hughes insists that his teammates will be targeting nothing less than two wins against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday and Aston Villa on Sunday.
“If we can take six points from the next two games, the table would look completely different,” he said. “That’s what we’re aiming for – we’ll look at the West Ham game and figure out where we went wrong, and then prepare for Spurs and Villa.”