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Chris Coleman couldn’t hide his disappointment after Fulham folded to defeat at Aston Villa this afternoon.

The Londoners were well below the standards they have set for themselves in the first half of the season as goals from Juan Pablo Angel and Darius Vassell secured a straightforward victory for Villa. Coleman felt his side never recovered from conceding a poor opening goal, telling the press after the final whistle:

“We started the better team, played some good stuff and had a few chances, but then we gave away a sloppy goal. It was not a disaster when we came in at half-time and I wanted us to come out and take the game to Villa but we just folded.

“That is disappointing from my point of view and it’s the first time I’ve seen that happen for a long time. It was poor. We lost all our individual battles and our passing was poor. It was a cold night and the fans who came here will be going home disappointed. We need to get back to hard work on the training ground and not play as individuals.

The Fulham boss admitted that his first focus in the new year would be seeking to address a mini-slump that has engulfed his side.

“We have won only one out of four. That’s poor form. It’s a good job we put a lot of hard work into the beginning of the season, so we have got a bit of a cushion. But that form is relegation form, and we need to pull our fingers out. Villa really beat us up in the second half, and it is the first time we have not stood up to a team and rolled our sleeves up. I need to bring in two or three new faces. Although I am disappointed today, the lads have been magnificent but we do need a bigger squad.”