Slavisa Jokanovic knows his side weren’t at the races in Monday night’s 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield Town.
Fulham struggled to really get going in the match, which was decided by Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s first half own goal.
“To be honest, we didn’t show enough intensity in the first 45 minutes,” Jokanovic admitted. “They were more solid, showed more pace, more power, and didn’t give us any opportunity to stay with the ball.
“We didn’t show the quality, we had some kind of the problems. They played many minutes with three centre-backs against our three strikers, but we didn’t find any benefit.
“In the second half we used the bench and put an extra midfielder in this part of the pitch. We found a solution for this kind of problem but we didn’t find the quality. We created some chances but nothing especially serious to equalise in the game.
“Today we didn’t make so many defensive mistakes but we didn’t win so many challenges. In the 50-50 challenges we didn’t win the ball. We have quality but without winning the challenges it’s complicated for us.
“I was a little bit surprised that we couldn’t find the right answer to Huddersfield in this game. We know how they play, we knew they were going to be aggressive, but we didn’t find a solution.”
When asked if he thought his players lacked fight, he replied: “For some reason, yes. I don’t know if our preparation wasn’t good enough or if they didn’t understand how important this game was.
“I don’t know if some players were a little bit scared about this kind of responsibility that’s in front of us, and we didn’t perform enough. You don’t need to be so talented to fight and show enough energy to compete in a Premier League game.”
Ryan Sessegnon was one of the Whites’ better performers on the night, but his Head Coach knows he can’t do it alone.
“There is a lot of responsibility in front of the youngest man in my team,” he explained. “Ryan Sessegnon tried to push and tried to force the situation, but probably other people need to offer a little bit more fight, a little bit more personality, a little bit more quality, and more work.
“My players had some words after the game between themselves, but it’s a little bit late. We had the opportunity to do our talking [on the pitch] between 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock and we didn’t talk with enough personality, power or quality.
“We are hurt, we are not satisfied with our level, and the situation is in our hands to work hard to look for an improvement.”
The defeat saw Fulham slip to last place in the division, but Jokanovic stressed that there is a long way to go yet.
“It’s not a nice situation for us, being bottom of the Premier League is extra pressure for the team, for all of us,” he said. “If you look at last season, after 11 games Crystal Palace had four points but didn’t end up in the Championship.
“Many points, many games, are ahead of us. We immediately need an important improvement because at the moment we are not competitive enough to give us the option to win the game.”