CHERRIES head coach Andoni Iraola felt that his side were “not at the level that the game required” in the opening stages of their 3-1 defeat at Fulham.

An early Bobby De Cordova-Reid goal set the tone at Craven Cottage, with Rodrigo Muniz doubling Fulham’s lead in the first period.

Marcos Senesi briefly gave Cherries hope at the start of the second half, but any thoughts of a comeback were instantly extinguished when Muniz restored Fulham’s two-goal cushion.

Cherries maintained a near-constant siege of the Fulham goal in the second period but were unable to find a further breakthrough, ending the game with 25 shots, 13 corners, but just one goal to show for it all.

Asked about the poor return from such a high shot count, Iraola told the Daily Echo: “I think they were blocking also very well, they were defending quite well.

“I think we also had 13 corners or something like this.

“So we can look and say we did a lot of things, we deserved more goals.

“Our expected goals, I'm sure is going to be high.

“But we can not only look at this.”

The Basque boss also felt that Fulham dealt with the “key moments” of the game in a better fashion than Cherries, highlighting the third goal as the killer blow.

He continued: “There is a part at the beginning of the game that we were not at the level that the game required.

“And then, okay, we did very good things, but it was too late probably.

“Also we have to add that the momentum, the score, the third goal probably (halted momentum) just after the 2-1, when it looked like we were going to push them.

“Key moments that they've dealt with better than us.”

Despite their second half onslaught, Cherries’ best chance arguably fell in the first half.

At a corner Dominic Solanke managed to find both time and space inside the six-yard box, but Cherries’ talisman miscued his effort as he sliced over the bar.

“We got a very good set piece,” restarted Iraola.

“Very good routine, unlucky he didn't finish inside.

“We also scored from another, second ball from a corner.

“I think we had good chances. I think we should have scored more goals, definitely.

“But we didn't. At the end this is what counts.”

Cherries drop below Fulham in the Premier League table, now sitting 13th, with the Cottagers in 12th.

Iraola’s charges return to action next Saturday, when they visit Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United.