Luton defender Dan Potts felt his side paid the price for showing Fulham too much respect during the first half of their 3-2 defeat at Craven Cottage last night.
The Hatters went into the game as underdogs against a side who were in the Premier League last season, and could count themselves lucky to still in the contest at the break, trailing 1-0, during a first half that the Cottagers dominated in terms of possession and chances.
Although Aleksander Mitrovic scored two more goals in the second period, Luton replied through Potts and Kazenga LuaLua, to almost snatch a point.
Speaking afterwards, Potts said: “It was probably a tale of two halves.
"I think first half we came here with a gameplan, not to stop them playing, but try to be in a good, compact shape and not give them much.
"They showed first half how good a side they were, that was probably down to us giving them a little bit too much respect.
"The goal was disappointing from our behalf, but then again we had a few openings, a few chances first half and all right we went in at 1-0, it could have easily been 1-1.
"They’ve had the lion’s share of possession first half, but then second half we tweaked it a little bit and I thought we went out there and gave a much better account of ourselves.
"It was a couple of disappointing goals in the end, but thought there was definitely some positives to take forward.
Town looked like they had weathered the storm for the initial 15 minutes, but then switched off for a second, Matty Pearson's pass to Martin Cranie intercepted, Fulham flooding forward and Mitrovic finishing lethally.
“When we come to these sort of places, especially the first 10-15 minutes are key.
"It happened at Derby as well, we gave a sloppy goal away and it’s happened again tonight.
"You can’t give these sorts of teams a goal like that, or gift them opportunities like that.
"They’re going to create, you know the talent they’ve got, but at the same token, it’s 11 v 11 and we pride ourselves of keeping clean sheets and our defensive solidity, especially away from home.
"That was probably the one disappointing factor in the first half ,giving them that goal."
There was no stopping Mitrovic in the second period as well, the Serbian completing his hat-trick, as Potts was frustrated that Fulham's dangerman had been afforded as much space as he was,
He said: "We knew what he was about, he comes alive in the box, he proved that tonight with the goals.
"He probably wasn’t in the game as much he would have wanted to be, but he got three goals.
"That's for us to look back on now, and that’s where games are won and lost on those moments in the box."
Despite eventually being defeated on the night, LuaLua's goal too late to engineer a comeback, Potts felt Town could leave Craven Cottage with their heads held high.,
He added: "You look at the games we’ve had away from home this year, we've definitely come away from them with plenty of positives and nothing to fear.
"In that respect it’s one of the things moving forward that we start games the way we started the second half, on the front foot and not give teams the respect as we're part of this league now.
"We want to win at places like this, we want to come here and give a good account of ourselves and we’re not here to just get a 0-0, we’d be happy with it, but we want to win these games.
“It (LuaLua's goal) was definitely too late, but against we had opportunities before that where we could have made it a little bit more of a game.
"We were pushing for an equaliser, I definitely think we had the onus and that’s a good strength of ours.
"We’ve definitely got the legs and fitness to topple teams like this, it’s just giving ourselves the opportunities to get those results and put those opportunities in the back of the net.
"If you come to these places, you’re probably not going to get as many chances as you are at home, so when you do get those chances, you’ve got to be clinical.
"That was one big thing from this game to take forward."