Martin Jol wants Fulham to head into their remaining games with a different mentality after a fourth successive defeat meant survival is not yet assured.
The Whites were talking of a top ten finish a month ago but they are looking nervously over their shoulders after this abject surrender to already relegated Reading leaves them five points above the drop zone.
The Fulham boss has urged his side to play with more passion in the last two fixtures, at home to Liverpool and away at Swansea.
“We had 40 points at a very early stage, so that was remarkable. After that, the pressure was a bit off us and now you see all these teams, like Aston Villa and, before Monday [when they lost 6-1 to Villa], Sunderland, picking up points. They got spirit from that and that is what we need as well.
The first half I was disappointed but the second half we never gave up and were in it until it went 4-2. But it wasn’t the best performance, of course. People were shouting to get Bryan Ruiz off and then he scored two goals after that. I was really happy because he is a good player, but it was not the best performance – not as a team, not as an individual.”
Jol was asked whether his players were already on their holidays.
“That is the question you ask me every week and you are right, you are entitled to get an answer. But, on the other hand, against all these teams – Newcastle away, Chelsea, Arsenal – we can’t fault them for having no application. I think we wanted to do well, but it is more like that pressure you need to perform and get a result probably wasn’t there the past three or four weeks.”