ulham manager Mark Hughes admits his side allowed Manchester City to run riot and claim a 4-1 win at Craven Cottage.
Hughes, who was sacked as City boss last December and was facing his former club for the first time since his dismissal, watched as his side suffered the decisive defeat on Sunday evening.
And while admitting Roberto Mancini’s visitors produced an excellent display, he admits his men were too submissive at times.
“In fairness, we allowed it to happen on too many occasions when we were a little bit too passive,” Hughes said.
“We needed to be closing people down quicker than we did. If you allow top quality players, which these Man City guys definitely are, the likelihood is that they’ll make you pay.
He added: “I thought City were excellent, especially in the first half. It was probably the best I’ve seen them play this year.
“I know the guys, I know the qualities they’ve got and they placed exceptionally well. Credit to them and credit to Roberto Mancini.”
Hughes admits Carlos Tevez’s sixth-minute goal for City knocked the wind out of the Cottagers’ sails.
“Obviously we lost a little bit of belief after the initial first goal,” he added. “The one thing you don’t want to do is concede early.
“That happened, unfortunately, and then we needed to kick on, obviously we needed to be more aggressive and get up to people.
“But unfortunately we allowed them too much time and space in which to create.”
Hughes admits he is still on a learning curve at Fulham after taking the hot-seat in July.
He said: “At the end of the day my focus is totally on Fulham and obviously I haven’t been in the club that long but over the next few months we really want to put in place where we want this club to go.
“At the moment we’re still, to be very honest, learning about certain players. So today was another wake-up call for a number of us.
“But we’ve got to draw a line under it. We won’t play the quality that we’ve faced today on that many occasions this year and when we do we’ve got to make a better fist of it than we did today.”