Scott Parker acknowledged that Fulham weren’t at their best at Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts didn’t outplay the Whites, but managed to sneak a goal in either half to claim a 2-0 win.
“We’re disappointed, to be honest with you,” Parker said afterwards. “I felt the nuts and bolts of it is that we weren’t clinical enough in either box today.
“Certainly first half I felt as an attacking threat we lacked a real impetus about us. We controlled the game like we knew we’d have to as they’d come off the back of a good result against a good side [Swansea City].
“This team was sitting bottom of the league but they’ve got players who have played in the Champions League, there’s Premier League pedigree in this team. That’s something we spoke about before the game, that they’re in a false position in the table.
“I felt we controlled the game in the first half, got into good areas, but when we got into those areas we lacked an impetus.
“Second half we addressed it and were more progressive. But in saying that, [we conceded from] two long balls, we defended poorly against them and we weren’t clinical enough when we had our moments.”
The loss at the bet365 Stadium brings an end to Fulham’s unbeaten run, but Parker insists the important thing now is to see a reaction from his team.
“The international break probably came at the wrong time for us,” he stated. “We were six games unbeaten and the break stalled that momentum.
“We had a bad result today, [but] games come thick and fast in this league. This league is very indifferent, we’ve seen that, very inconsistent, and we’re part of that, no doubt. I don’t think there’s any one team who are really taking it by storm.
“Wednesday comes now, Luton at home, it’s a big game for us and then we go to Boro.
“I’ve said it many a time, I’ve said it to the players, this is a young squad. When I say young I don’t mean in age, I mean it’s young in terms of when it got put together.
“Obviously along the way there’s going to be a couple of bumps – today’s a bump. It’s not a head on collision, not something that’s a massive issue, it’s a bump.
“How we come out of this, how we bounce back from this, will ultimately determine what we’re about and what we do this year.
“That’s the challenge now, we dust ourselves off, we analyse the game and work out where we went wrong, and we come back fighting.”