If Fulham are looking for consolation amid the mire of what seems increasingly like a lost cause, then the look in Andre Schurrle’s eyes provided it, as he prepared to leave a foul night in Lancashire behind him.
World Cup winners don’t generally need to trouble themselves with a pitched battle at the bottom of the Premier League but the German, who had provided the afternoon’s single moment of class, deconstructed the usual superstar notion.
His bluntness is a quality that his team, five points from safety and alone among Premier League and Football League clubs in their continuing search for a first away win, could use.
Somehow they had lost 2-1 to a home side who failed to get a single shot on target. ‘Yeah, imagine that. It’s very hard to take,’ said the 28-year-old, who got in behind Burnley to put Fulham ahead after a minute and 50 seconds with an exquisite half-volley.
‘It was a great start for us. It was exactly how we wanted to play, in behind and try to turn the people but after that there was nothing from us in the first half, and we got under pressure and didn’t play any football. So, first half it was nothing and second half we just couldn’t score.
‘It’s not easy. I’ve never been involved in something like this. It’s not easy to adapt to losing a lot. It’s not what I am used to, so I have to put my qualities for the team and try to score a bit more.’
The second-half recovery was creditable, yet this still looks like a collection of individuals, rather than a team; a squad changed so fundamentally last summer that it is hard to re-locate that spirit which brought them to this level.
Burnley, meanwhile, have re-discovered their old identity on the way to three successive wins, and have the bonus of 19-year-old Dwight McNeil’s emergence as a strong England Under-21 prospect.
Fulham have no such fairy story. ‘We are deep, deep, deep in trouble,’ said Schurrle. ‘It’s not in our own hands, but there is hope and belief.’