Martin Jol was left to rue defensive errors after seeing his side go down to a heavy 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
Fernando Amorebieta turned a Steven Gerrard free-kick into his own net before Martin Skrtel added the second soon after he lost the Venezuelan at a corner to head home. A brace from Luis Suarez either side of the break simply rubbed salt in the wounds.
“You know if you go to Liverpool or a top side – and Liverpool are a top side this season – you have to try not to concede,” said Jol. “On the ball we looked okay for the first 20 minutes but then we conceded from a set-piece. The second goal was also from a set-piece and we made it too difficult for ourselves to get a result.
“When you’re down 3-0 at half-time the main priority is to try and keep the score down. It’s a cliché to say we have to show character in the second half. You’d like to stay in the dressing room but you have to go out and try and do something. We did but it wasn’t enough to get a result after being 3-0 down.
“We’ve got wins against Crystal Palace, Stoke City and Sunderland but against the strength and quality of a side like Manchester United or Liverpool you hope for a result but we couldn’t get one. It’s not the end of the world but it would have been great if we’d done the same as two years ago when we beat Liverpool home and away.”
Fulham have now slipped to four successive defeats and Jol is keen to see his side return to the form they showed earlier this season.
“Just before Southampton away we’d had a good spell where we’d won three out of four games,” said the boss. “So that’s what you have to try and do – keep cool and try and get points from the teams around you. Hopefully in the next seven or eight months we’ll pick up points against the top sides too like we used to do.”
The result leaves Fulham just outside the bottom three places and Jol continued: “Every manager in any team in the bottom six or seven has to keep fighting. I think we’ll be fine but we have suffered in these recent games. There are a lot more teams for us to try and get results in.”
Not for the first time this season conceding from set-pieces was Fulham’s Achilles heel and Jol mused: “If you see the work we try to do in training, I thought we’d be fine today. Fernando is good in the air so to concede two goals like that is disappointing. The first thing you should do is not give them too much space for manoeuvre but we gave them too much respect. I hope we’ll do better in the future and Fernando knows that.”