Nigel Clough says the difference between Burton Albion's previous away victories and Saturday's 6-0 mauling at Fulham was that Albion gifted the game to the Cottagers.
Luke Murphy's stray pass in the build-up to Fulham's 18th-minute opener allowed the hosts to turn on the style and batter the Brewers, who recorded their heaviest loss in the Championship at Craven Cottage.
Oliver Norwood intercepted Murphy's pass in the centre-circle before playing Lucas Piazon through on goal, with the Brazilian squaring for Fonte.
That sloppiness had been absent in Albion's impressive run of three consecutive away wins before the mauling from Fulham - but they never recovered from the early blow.
"We were working our way into the game," Clough said.
"That was the only difference between today and our previous away games - we didn't make those mistakes.
"We made a mistake against QPR (Albion lost 3-1 to the Rs last weekend), after 75 minutes last week after Tom Naylor gave one away in the centre-circle and we lost the game.
"If you give the ball away in those areas against these players they will punish you."
The Brewers were growing into the game at the time of Fonte's opener, with debutant Martin Samuelsen impressing on the right-hand side.
They struggled to get a foothold from that stage though.
And Clough reckons any team in the league would have been hard-pushed to stop a Fulham side who have now garnered 16 points from a possible 18 in the Championship.
"I think so, the mood that they were in," Clough replied when asked if it was a case of Albion facing an in-form side on their day.
"They were on a good run anyway, and when they get their first goal so early, 15 minutes in, then the game-plan goes out of the window a little bit.
"They pick you off after that, the two goals after that were us chasing and out of position - needlessly at that stage of the game."