LUUK de Jong admitted Newcastle United were “boring” at Craven Cottage – and insisted that can’t happen again.
The Magpies were beaten 1-0 by Fulham on Saturday, with Ashkan Dejagah driving in a second-half winner.
Newcastle were without injured leading scorer Loic Remy.
And Papiss Cisse, leading the line in his absence, was twice denied by Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale.
Otherwise, chances were few and far between for United, who assistant manager John Carver – standing in for the banned Alan Pardew – admitted lacked “quality” in the final third of the pitch.
“We wanted to win this game, of course,” de Jong said.
“I think the game was quite boring for the fans – not much happened – and we didn’t score from the moment when we had a big chance.
“Afterwards, they got a good chance and scored.”
Newcastle could have left Craven Cottage with a point had referee Howard Webb seen Johnny Heitinga handle the ball in his own box in injury time after keeper Tim Krul, up for a corner, tried to return the ball into the box..
De Jong felt he was fouled in the build-up to Dejagah’s goal, which came after Cisse had had a shot saved at the other end.
“I think it was also a foul on me (for Fulham’s goal). But the referee saw differently.
“I didn’t see it at the end, but if it’s a handball, it’s a handball,” said the Holland international.
Dejagah struck eight minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute to give Felix Magath his first win as Fulham boss at the fourth attempt.
It was the Cottagers’ first Premier League win since January 14 against Norwich, following two points in the intervening eight games, and the remaining eight matches will determine their fate.
Fulham thought their goal had come earlier as twice in the opening 10 minutes of the second half they had the ball in Newcastle’s net, only for Pajtim Kasami and Cauley Woodrow’s efforts to be ruled out for offside.
Woodrow put the ball in after Johnny Heitinga’s shot had bounced down off the crossbar and, replays showed, by the smallest of fractions, on to the line.
Referee Howard Webb – fourth official at KC Stadium when Pardew had his headbutting moment of madness – looked at his watch awaiting news from the Decision Review System which never came.
It mattered not as Stockdale made a crucial save from Cisse and Dejagah, who was unable to complete the game, netted on the break, cutting inside before unleashing a vicious shot which bounced under Krul, to inflict Newcastle’s fifth successive loss at Craven Cottage.
Fulham: Stockdale, Heitinga, Hangeland, Amorebieta, Richardson, Holtby (Riether 82), Sidwell, Kvist Jorgensen, Kacaniklic, Kasami (Dejagah 61), Woodrow, Dejagah (Burn 87). Subs not used: Stekelenburg, Riise, Rodallega, Patrick Roberts. Booked: Dejagah. Goal: Dejagah 68.
Newcastle: Krul, Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett, Sissoko, Tiote, Anita (Marveaux 81), Gouffran, De Jong (Armstrong 86), Cisse (Shola Ameobi 71). Subs not used: Gosling, Haidara, Steven Taylor, Alnwick.
Att: 25,664. Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).