Saturday’s stumble at the hands of in-form Huddersfield stirred the emotions. It was infuriating for a couple of reasons: there was a lingering sense of injustice at the final whistle after Fulham were on the wrong end of a couple of contentious penalty decisions, but there was little doubt that the Whites were far from their free-flowing best. It certainly served as a reminder of the Championship’s unpredictability and the folly of suggesting, as many have, that promotion to the Premier League, is now a foregone conclusion.

The performance was particularly uneven. Marco Silva suggested that his side were the best on the pitch and the league leaders did create plenty of scoring opportunities but they looked laboured in possession at times and were diffident in defence. A well-drilled Huddersfield side, who were dangerous on the break, took full advantage to extend their unbeaten run to fifteen matches and Carlos Corberan’s men look like a decent bet for the play-offs, which would have surprised everyone who saw them get ruthlessly taken apart at home in August.

The challenge for Fulham is to bounce back immediately and avoid any poor run of form that would give heart to the chasing back. Silva has decisions to make ahead of the visit of relegation-threatened Peterborough. Marek Rodak has admitted his culpability for Huddersfield’s first goal and hopes to put that behind him, whilst Antonee Robinson’s recent form at left back is a real concern. Fulham’s central midfield lacked bite at the weekend, with Nathaniel Chalobah particularly passive and Tom Cairney unable to dictate proceedings in his usual fashion. One of those two should make way for either Harrison Reed or Jean Michael Seri, who hasn’t started a game since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Peterborough will be something of a unknown quantity after Darren Ferguson called time on his third spell with the club following defeat to Derby at the weekend. The Posh were always likely to find life back in the Championship tough, but the decision to part with one of their best players – Siriki Dembele – on deadline day only served to make things more difficult. The Posh will be under of the stewardship of a caretaker manager team for the trip to Craven Cottage, with Matthew Etherington, who had done a sterling job with their youth team set-up before being promoted to assistant manager last year, assisted by Fulham legend Simon Davies. Their tenure could be as short as a single game with Grant McCann heavily tipped to return to the club where his managerial career began.

In his comments after his interim appointment was confirmed, Etherington insisted that he wouldn’t be parting too drastically from Ferguson’s approach, highlighting the narrow home defeat by Fulham in November as an example of how his side can compete with the league leaders. Posh were unfortunate not to get a point that day, thwarted by a few important saves by Marek Rodak, and beaten by an expert header from Aleksandar Mitrovic. They might view this evening as a bit of a free hit, but five points from safety, Peterborough badly need to improve a desperate away record which seen them lose fourteen of sixteen matches on the road this season, conceding 43 goals.

The visitors will definitely be without Hayden Coulson, who is suspended after his Pride Park dismissal. The former Sunderland protégé Bali Mumba could come in, whilst Jonson Clarke-Harris is an option should Etherington want to shake-up his front three. Fulham could extend their lead at the top of the table to six points again tonight, with Bournemouth hampered by two successive possessions, and banishing the deflation from Saturday’s defeat will be firmly at the forefront of their minds.

MY FULHAM XI (4-2-3-1): Rodak; Williams, Bryan, Adarabioyo, Ream; Reed, Cairney; Wilson, Kebano, Carvalho; Mitrovic. Subs: Gazzaniga, Tete, Hector, Chalobah, Seri, Decordova-Reid, Stansfield.