Promotion chasers Blackburn Rovers suffered their fourth defeat in six Championship matches when they were brushed aside by league-leaders Fulham on Saturday afternoon — though this, of course, was the toughest fixture of the lot.
Goals from Neeskens Kebano and Harry Wilson put Rovers right on the back foot in the first-half. They showed glimpses of quality after the interval, but not enough to claw themselves back into the contest.
Manager Tony Mowbray addressed the media after the match — these were his most noteworthy quotes.
On goal concessions
After a tightly, and evenly, contested opening 15 minutes or so, Fulham found their footing and began to force Blackburn onto the back foot like they do most teams in this division. Nonetheless, though, both goals felt cheap and avoidable.
Kebano pounced on goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski's error for the opener, while Tosin Adarabioyo was given far too much time and space to size up his inch-perfect pass to Wilson for the second. Mowbray was frustrated to see his side concede in such a manner.
"The nature of the goals we lost were really disappointing for us," he said. "But mistakes are mistakes, you have to accept them sometimes."
On Thomas Kaminski
Those goals saw Kaminski come under some scrutiny. There was little he could've done about the second as Wilson sent him to the ground with a delightful dink, however the first in particular felt thoroughly needless as the Belgian parried straight into Kebano's path after a tame shot from Neco Williams.
Nonetheless, Mowbray was reluctant to criticise his goalkeeper too much, as the 29-year old has generally been in fine form for Rovers this campaign.
"They don't really deserve both goals in my opinion, but you can't be too critical because our goalkeeper's been pretty good for us this season, keeping clean sheets and helping us win matches. He made one or two errors today, but at the same time, we've not stuck the ball in their net."
On the opposition
It may have been a disappointing result for Mowbray's side, but it was hardly unexpected; Fulham, under Marco Silva's stewardship, are as good as second tier teams come, and the gulf in quality told on the day.
The manager was happy with how his side fought but was happy to concede that it was always bound to be an uphill battle at the home of the league-leaders.
"We're playing against a good side, of course we are," admitted Mowbray. "Fulham are top of the league for a reason, they have very talented players and an identity. It was a difficult game for us — I thought we competed well, but it was hard to impose our style against a team like Fulham."
On future prospects
The recent vein of form may worry Rovers fans, with four defeats suffered in their last six matches but the fact remains that their terrific run between November and January has set them up nicely for a shot at the play-offs and they remain firmly in with a shout of promotion to the top flight.
Their work is far from done, though, and defeat here does certainly make it tighter between Blackburn and the teams around them. Mowbray was clear about what he feels they need to do in order to consolidate their position in the top six.
"We have to win five more games, maybe more. Let's not worry about what other teams do. We have three home games coming up and we hope to get good points from those."