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Being beaten at Everton leaves Fulham with work to do to ensure they do not get dragged into a relegation battle.

With four home and four away games remaining including home games against Arsenal and Liverpool , Fulham are only three points above 18th-placed Wolves.

Manager Mark Hughes said “We gave ourselves too much to do,” said Hughes after the game. “The manner of our first-half performance was too passive and Everton were allowed to dictate the game to us. In the second-half we were better in that respect but it was disappointing because we’ve played better than that lately.

“Invariably they [Everton] try to get out wide, they’ve got good quality in wider areas and they can get good quality balls into the box if you allow them to.

“Unfortunately that was the case for the first goal. The second one was just a freak goal from our point of view, it went through three people’s legs and it was very difficult for Mark [Schwarzer] to adjust his position.

“At two-nil down it’s a mountain to climb but we came back and showed a good response. We created a number of chances that, on another day, might have gone in for us. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and we ran out of time.

“In the second-half we engaged with them a lot more aggressively and stopped things at source which helped us. As a consequence, our performance improved in the second-half, but in the first-half we were too passive. If you don’t start in the way you mean to go on then you can find yourself in a situation where you’re behind in the game.”

“At 2-0 down, not playing particularly well, we made a change and got Bobby (Zamora) on and that seemed to help.

“We made the change and almost instantly it paid dividends for us,” Hughes said. “It’s still early days for Bobby, he’s still not quite ready to start games but he’s going to benefit from a couple more weeks’ training prior to our next Premier League game. By that time I would imagine he’s very close to starting – so he just needs a little bit more work.”

“We got back into the game at 2-1 and were forcing the issue towards the end of the game.

“We looked the better team because of that but you can’t just play for 45 minutes. You have to play for the full 90.

“In the end we couldn’t get that equaliser that certainly our second half performance deserved.”