Martin Jol admits a 3-0 defeat to West Ham proves a hectic transfer window has taken its toll on his Fulham side, but is tipping them to bounce back.
The Cottagers saw key figures such as Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey lured to pastures new over the summer, with the forward-thinking pair snapped up by capital rivals Tottenham.
Jol has been able to bring fresh faces into his squad, but it will take time for a new-look unit to form the kind of understandings required to generate positive results at tough places such as Upton Park.
Fulham were second best throughout the first half in the East End on Saturday, with the Hammers able to wrap up all three points before the interval.
"It was difficult," Jol told Sky Sports.
"Before the match we had a few little problems.
"We made a step forward last year and now we have had to take two steps back almost. I think we will find the balance in the next couple of weeks.
"The only disappointing thing is that the players go on international duty. Today had nothing to do with our qualities in midfield or up front, we didn't defend well."
West Ham debutant Andy Carroll caused Fulham all kinds of problems before limping out of the action in the second half and Jol admits his side struggled to get to grips with the powerful frontman.
He was, however, pleased to see deadline day signing Dimitar Berbatov make a positive impact on proceedings after joining the game as a half-time substitute.
Jol said: "If you play against him (Carroll) you know that the first ball you have to be on the end of it, you have to look after the knock downs and win the second balls. We didn't do that. It was horrendous.
"Second half we did better, mainly because they had to get him off, but before that we did better as well.
"Offensively we looked better with Berbatov, which was probably the only positive thing. We have to work hard to get it right."