Andre Schurrle has warned his Fulham team-mates their talent counts for nothing unless they put in the hard work on the pitch and turn around their dire form.
The Cottagers are currently bottom of the Premier League table, despite spending over £100m on players in the summer – a record amount for a newly-promoted side.
In the wake of their latest defeat – 4-1 at Manchester United – Schurrle, who was one of the 12 new arrivals, said: “If you don’t work hard, all the talent doesn’t help.
We know we are a talented squad and we know we can play some football.
“But when you come here to Old Trafford or when you play at Anfield or whatever, you need to work hard, you need to be defensively a unit and as well a little bit of luck and today we didn’t have that.”
Fulham’s struggles have already resulted in the sacking of Slavisa Jokanovic, who was replaced as head coach by Claudio Ranieri.
The main item on his agenda is firming-up Fulham’s defence, which has conceded 40 goals in 16 league games this season.
Only one top-flight team has had a worse record at this stage of the season since the 1965/66 season.
Schurrle is backing him to succeed, saying: “Claudio Ranieri knows the Premier League very well and he knows how to win games.
“He knows how to play, and he knows that we have to be compact, we have to be solid, we have to defend with all 10 men sometimes.
“We are still getting used to it because it’s a lot of tactics, a lot of defensive work because at the moment we need it.
“We need a clean sheet somehow to get some confidence in our defending and that’s what we’re trying to do.”