Scott Parker said Fulham had been “knocked and punched in the belly” by their last-gasp loss to Wolves and admitted the squad will have to show their quality against Arsenal.
When the whistle blew after Adama Traore’s last-gasp winner had sealed victory for Wolves at Craven Cottage last Friday, Mario Lemina was seen in tears while a number of other players appeared dejected.
Fulham get another chance to try and claw their way out of trouble when they visit London rivals Arsenal on Sunday.
“We’ve shown during this year our quality and we’ve shown in this year that we can win football matches against very, very good teams so nothing’s changed in that sense – we need to believe that,” Parker said.
“I understand that we’re very devastated at this moment in time, but we’ve been knocked and punched in the belly but we move on now and we need to concentrate on that and keep going.”
Given a third opportunity to move out of the bottom three for the first time since December, Fulham again fell short, slumping to their fourth successive defeat.
It leaves the Cottagers firmly in the bottom three and six points behind 17th-placed Newcastle but Parker has backed his squad to bounce back.
“Time will tell,” the Fulham manager said. “This team, early part of the season, and up until this part have been very resilient, have always come back and fought and kept working, kept trying to improve and I have no doubt that will be the case.
“Of course, the nearer you get to the end of the season, this is where things are defined and this is where one’s character and one’s mentality are really going to be tested because it’s defining.
“So I hope and I have no doubt that these players will show what they’ve shown me for large parts.”
He added: “We need to show our quality, show what good players we are, be clinical in key moments.
“But of course a large part at this moment in time is standing up here and the last six games and how it is going to be, we need big characters, big personalities.
“People who thrive in these moments, embrace these moments, these challenges that are ahead of us. But you are going to need to be on the right end of those key moments, show your quality and finish one off, in whichever box.”