Slavisa Jokanovic called for his Fulham side to stand up and be counted in the remaining nine games of the season after the hammer-blow of a 2-1 defeat to fellow strugglers Bristol City.
After Ross McCormack had put Fulham in front with a sublime chip, the Robins hit back in the second half, levelling through Marlon Pack before Lee Tomlin’s free-kick won it with a minute left.
“We started the game very well and played good football,” said Jokanovic. “We didn’t control the second half; we started very confused and made many mistakes. They put us in big trouble with a simple push and we started to be scared at set-pieces.
“It’s disappointing for us and our supporters. We needed to go to war for the last 10 games and we didn’t go to war today. We need to be stronger and show more fight as we’re in trouble. We played with a different mentality in the second half and without enough power. I tried to make some changes but they didn’t do enough. We need to be men in this situation.”
The defeat, coupled with Rotherham United’s 3-3 draw at home to Derby County, leaves Fulham a point above the drop zone.
The Whites travel to promotion-chasing Birmingham City on Saturday.
“Our fans are unhappy, we have to be ready for the Birmingham game,” continued Jokanovic. “We’re in a relegation battle, this is very clear. We’re in trouble, it’s evident. It’s not acceptable. But our obligation is to start thinking about the Birmingham game.
“This game is done and I say sorry to the Fulham fans; they push us and they try and help us and we didn’t give them enough today for their support.”
In the next game we need to be brave.
I don’t want to think about relegation, everything is in our hands.”