Darren Bent insists Fulham are determined ‘to put things right’ against Stoke City on Saturday (3pm).
The Whites’ somewhat disappointing start to the season continued last weekend when an injury-time strike by Jordon Mutch condemned Fulham to a 2-1 home defeat by Cardiff City.
But Bent, who arrived at the Club on loan from Aston Villa in August, is keen to forget about the loss to the Bluebirds and focus on getting three points from the clash with Mark Hughes’ Stoke at the Cottage.
“The defeat against Cardiff was, as you’d expect, very difficult to take,” Bent told the official website. “When you lose a game so late in the day, it’s always tough. It wasn’t our best performance, but I thought a draw was probably the fair result.
“Obviously you have to do your best to move on, and that’s been the focus this week – we want to put things right against Stoke this weekend. We know that we have more to give, and I think we’ve seen glimpses of that so far. It’s just a case of it coming together for us.
“We just need to put it out of our heads now. If we can get three points on Saturday, before the international break, we can regroup and hopefully take a positive performance into the game at Crystal Palace in a few weeks’ time.
“If we can string a couple of victories together, then we’ll soon be pushing ourselves up the table. We all share that belief; it’s a good group here at Fulham and we’re in it together. That’s really important.”
With the season still in its infancy, England international Bent believes it’s not time to panic, predicting plenty more twists and turns before the campaign concludes.
“I’ve been playing in the Premier League for a long time, and experienced lots of ups and downs,” he said. “This is an extremely competitive league, make no mistake, and quite often the margins between winning and losing are very slim.
“Of course, there are a few things that we can improve and work on, but we certainly haven’t been outplayed. Last week, against Everton in the League Cup, we played some great football, so hopefully we can show that again.
“We’ll work hard as a team and defend from the front. It’s about finding that balance, and, with a bit of luck, hopefully things will click into place for us.”
The Potters are under a new manager in Welshman Hughes, with the former Whites boss taking over at the Britannia Stadium in the summer. They, too, have had a mixed start to the season as Hughes tries to bring his own philosophies into play.
“Saturday is a good opportunity for us, and although Stoke are a good side, I think we can get the result we need,” stated Bent. “Stoke will be tough, like they always are, but we can make the home advantage count and get the three points. They [Stoke], under Mark Hughes, have a slightly different approach to previous seasons perhaps.
“They will be up for the battle, because their core group of players have been doing that for years. But they can mix it up a bit more now, they’ve got players that can get it down and play. They’re a good side, and will be targeting three points themselves, but hopefully we can come out on top.
“It was a close game at Craven Cottage between the two last season, so I’m told, with a decent strike from Dimitar Berbatov the difference on the day. You have to take your chances and, if involved, I’ll do my best to make an impact.”
Bent has found the net twice for Fulham this term – but believes the best is yet to come.
The striker added: “I didn’t really have a pre-season, so I’m still finding my feet a little. But I’m getting stronger by the day and feeling a lot sharper. I’ve got a couple of goals so far, and I’d certainly like to add to that tally over the coming weeks and months.”