But Johnson emerged defiant, saying: “I have never shirked a challenge and I will dig in and work even harder because I want to be part of success at this club.
“I believe I have the backing of those who matter, but I won’t hide away from the fact that this performance was not good enough.
“I now have to pick a team for the match at Newcastle on Saturday, full of players who will run and close opponents down. That is the least the fans demand.
“It is not all doom and gloom and I still have 100 per cent faith in my own ability to turn things around.
“We are not in the relegation zone and are actually better placed than when I took the job.”
Fulham went in front on 17 minutes when a patient passing move ended with Cairney feeding Piazon, who fired past Fabian Giefer from 10 yards.
A dreadful mistake by full-back Adam Matthews allowed Cairney to make it 2-0 on 54 minutes with a clinical finish from a Neeskens Kebano pass.
With a better final ball the visitors would have won by a much larger margin. Their passing game was too much for a City team who looked shambolic at times.
Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic said: “I’m very satisfied. We have shown we can change our focus after the cup defeat (3-0 against Tottenham on Sunday).
“We moved the ball well throughout in difficult conditions and could have had more goals. What we lacked was more of a killer instinct.
“Lucas Piazon scored a good goal and is a great example in the way he works hard for the team.
“Our target is the top six and we are now in the top seven. We now have to fight in every game and work to improve so we can close the gap to sixth place.”
Of the fans’ treatment of Johnson, Jokanovic added: “Lee Johnson is a young and very good coach. The criticism he took tonight is part of our profession and he needs to stay strong.”