Preston North End assistant manager Glynn Snodin admitted the Lilywhites had been beaten by the better side in their defeat to Fulham.
They went down 3-1 at Craven Cottage, Sone Aluku giving the Cottagers a first-half lead, one which was doubled after an hour by Chris Martin.
Tom Barkhuizen pulled a goal back on his full North End debut but Neeskens Kebano restored the home side's two-goal cushion.
Snodin, on media duty instead of manager Simon Grayson, said: "We came up against a good Fulham side, what they do and the players they have in their side, I thought they were different class.
"They were just a step above us, although credit to our players they kept going to the end.
"At 2-1 we thought we had got back into the game and against the run of play, Fulham went and got their third.
"When we scored, there was a chance we would get something because there is belief among these boys.
"It was frustrating Fulham went and got their third but they are a good counter-attacking side who can handle the ball well, we got undone by that.
"Sometimes you know what a team is going to do but it is hard to stop."
Barkhuizen's first start in a Preston shirt since his move from Morecambe, impressed Snodin.
He started on the right-wing in a 4-2-3-1 system and switched to a right wing-back role during the second half when PNE went 3-5-2.
"It was great for Tom to have scored on his full debut, it was a great ball from Aiden McGeady and a great finish from the kid.
"That will stand him in good stead.
"The gaffer is good at changing things, we changed formation to try and give them problems and for 10-15 minutes in around Tom scoring, we probably did that.
"But unfortunately we didn't keep the back door shut for the third goal."