A honest Micky Adams admitted Fulham were too good for his Port Vale side, who failed to repeat their earlier Carling Cup heroics at Craven Cottage last night.

The former Fulham manager couldn’t script a fairytale return to the place where his managerial career began and was candid enough to disclose that Vale’s chances of causing another giantkilling after felling QPR in the first round receeded once he saw that Mark Hughes had selected a strong team.

As soon as we saw the team sheet we knew we would be in trouble. A lot of the Premier League clubs last night made wholesale changes. Fulham for their own reasons picked their first team and it was always going to difficult.

But we are disappointed. I think we are better than we showed tonight but we couldn’t get near Fulham. They had pace and movement and it was too much for us.

They are real athletes which is why they play at this level. We will lick our wounds and get on with it.

I came back here with Brentford and Leicester. I think this is my first defeat since coming back. The place is unrecognisable from the one I first managed. There are even tiles in the bathroom and hot water.