Scott Parker was left ruing a costly mistake from Alphonse Areola as Fulham were beaten by league leaders Manchester United at Craven Cottage tonight – but believes recent performances have shown his side can avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The Whites took a shock early lead through Ademola Lookman after a bright start, but Edinson Cavani equalised after Areola dropped a straightforward cross at his feet and a wondergoal from Paul Pogba completed United’s comeback. Fulham were perhaps unfortunate not to emerge from an intriguing contest with a point and Parker is delighted with how his side have fared in a run of tough fixtures against some of the division’s best sides.

The Fulham boss told the BBC’s Match of the Day after the final whistle:

I’m really pleased but I’m disappointing at the same time, which shows how far we’ve come. We’ve held our own against the top teams in the last few games. We caused them a lot of problems but the big moments in the game, we didn’t execute them this time. I love the team at the moment and I’m really proud. We’ve worked tirelessly and we will work hard on the training field to execute those chances and hopefully it will improve.

Ade[mola Lookman] had a lot of time to compose himself and it was a fantastic finish. We lost it on a mistake and a fantastic goal by Paul Pogba. Alphonse Areola has been fantastic all season and he’ll be the first to be disappointed. He’s made an error today but he’ll come back.

I saw a team today that looked threatening and tried their hardest to get back into but we go again. The next challenge is to maintain where we are and don’t let defeat sink us. No doubt we can win and operate in this division and we just need to push on and keep improving.