Nottingham Forest first-team coach Brian Eastick said the players left themselves needing ‘a miracle’ to get back into the game against Fulham this evening.
The Reds found themselves 3-0 down within 35 minutes courtesy of a Ross McCormack hat-trick.
Henri Lansbury scored twice to pull the score back to 3-2 but Forest couldn’t find an equaliser.
And, while he accepts The Reds dominated large spells of the game, Eastick lamented the way in which they allowed Fulham to romp into such a damaging early lead.
Speaking after the match, he said: “If you allow people of McCormack’s quality that amount of time and space in the attacking third you’re going to be punished, and that’s exactly what we did.
“The players are bitterly disappointed, as is the manager and the staff.
“We should have been building on our great win at Derby but we were asking for a miracle to come back. Having said that, we nearly performed one.
“For 70 minutes we played exceptionally well, but the bottom line is you can’t give teams a 3-0 head start and expect to win matches.”
The Reds now head into a free weekend ahead of next Saturday’s match against Millwall at The City Ground.
And Eastick is expecting Forest to go back to basics in the hope of finding the required consistency to mount a charge up the table.
He said: “We need to get that consistency, and the way to do that is to get a foothold in the game. We’ve got to get back to not conceding two or three goals in a game. If we’d come in at half-time 1-0 down tonight, our second-half performance probably would have been enough to win the game.
“Keeping to the defensive principles of play, we’ve got to make sure we play compact, track runners and don’t give silly free-kicks away on the edge of the box. They are the basics of the game we didn’t do in the first 25 minutes.”