Carlo Ancelotti admitted that Everton were beaten by the better side against Fulham and is surprised their opponents are in the relegation zone.
Fulham ended their long wait for a league win at Goodison Park by winning 2-0 courtesy of a brace from Josh Maja.
It means Everton have now gone four games without a win at home for the first time under Ancelotti.
Things are still looking up for the Toffees, who are seventh in the table, but their manager fears they are not doing as well physically as they were earlier in the season.
He told BBC Sport: “[We struggled with] the physical aspect [after the 5-4 win over Spurs].
“Practically we were not able to play as we wanted. We wanted to have a good control of the game putting more midfielders on the pitch but they press a lot and we could not play as want.
“We did well when we played every three days [earlier this season]. Physically we didn’t have the necessary power to match the intensity of Fulham.
“Sometimes you have to say the opponent played better than you and they deserved to win.
“I’m surprised they’re in the bottom three. They played well, not only against us – against Liverpool and Manchester United. They have a clear idea – they deserved to win tonight.”
Ancelotti discusses striker situation
Against Fulham, Ancelotti opted to play without a recognised centre-forward. However, he sent Josh King on in the second half.
Ancelotti was satisfied with what the January arrival did in his cameo.
He said: “Josh King did his job. He’s adapting to the squad well.
“The game he played, he played well. He was one of the best.”
Ancelotti will be hoping to have main striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin available again for their clash with Manchester City on Wednesday.
Of the striker, he said: “He can be fit but we have to see in the next days.”