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The Cottagers rallied and pulled level with Manchester City before succumbing to a 4-2 defeat at Craven Cottage, leaving the Dutchman rueful of a missed opportunity

Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen challenged his players to turn performances into points after losing 4-2 to Manchester City on Saturday.

Manuel Pellegrini's men surged into a two-goal lead at Craven Cottage through Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany before Kieran Richardson pulled one back for the hosts.

Kompany then netted a bizarre own goal to gift Fulham a way back into the game, but Meulensteen's charges were unable to hang on for a draw as Jesus Navas and James Milner came off the bench to snatch victory.

Despite his satisfaction at the side's display, Dutchman Meulensteen knows his side - who have lost eight of their last nine league games - will only claw their way out of the Premier League relegation zone by showing more resilience.

"It is the same story after the Spurs game [2-1 defeat] and the Everton game [4-1 defeat]," said Meulensteen.

"I've been very positive about the developments in and around Fulham and the training ground and that has transpired on the pitch.

"Unfortunately, it hasn't led to what I think we deserve, which is more points on the board, so that's what we need to look to do in the upcoming games.

"At 2-2 I was hoping the experience would kick in to steady the ship. I thought 'let's just settle ourselves a little bit and see if we can go from there', but then the 3-2 goes in and you have to make a different sort of substitution."

Meulensteen had his options limited at short notice as Dimitar Berbatov was forced to withdraw from the squad after a training-ground injury sustained on Friday.

"He kicked a ball wrongly which aggravated something in his groin as far as I'm aware," he continued. "It was too big of a risk with all the games coming up."

One plus point for Meulensteen was the contribution of Adel Taarabt, who came into the side as one of two changes.

"I think we all know what sort of talent he has and what a creative player he is." he added. "I thought he would cause City problems and he did.

"Where I played him, it was right down his street - he was excellent.

"I don't mind people taking shots and being positive and he has a decent shot on him. If one of them had been in the bottom or top corner, I would have been delighted."

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