Fulham sit bottom of the Championship table, having gained just one point from eight games at the start of the season.
Symons took caretaker charge of the first-team on Thursday, following the dismissal of Felix Magath, but the former Academy coach failed to improve upon the Cottagers dismal start, going down to a 1-0 home loss in his first game in charge.
Having seen central defender Shaun Hutchinson dismissed in first-half injury-time, Fulham put in a well organised performance, only to be struck down by a fortuitous Jordan Rhodes goal.
In the aftermath of the game, Symons spoke of his delight at the performance, with both teams equal in effort levels, even when the Cottagers were reduce to 10 men.
Quoted by the official Fulham website, Symons said: "I just said to the players I was very proud of their performance. There was nothing in it first half when it was XI v XI. And even in the second half we put up a very good performance and had a few chances.
"It was a disciplined, resolute performance with 10 men. We had to change the shape a few times to try and get back into it, it didn’t quite work but I couldn’t have asked for any more.
"I was delighted with the performance overall, but there are plenty of things we need to work on and I’m going to be a busy boy in training. But the attitude and the response since I’ve taken over has been brilliant. If I keep getting that, we’ll work our way up the league.”
In one of Symons strange managerial choices, outcast Costa Rica star Bryan Ruiz was handed his first start of the season, having not played for the Whites since December 2013.
"What’s happened in the past, I’ve had nothing to do with," he continued.
"As to what happens in the future, I can have something to do with that. I thought Bryan had a good, solid game. He showed some fantastic touches and great imagination. He played his part in a good team performance and I was pleased with his display.”
"I know the Championship well and you have to be physical otherwise you get bullied out of games. I won’t accept that, I won’t allow it. You have to stand up for yourself, but in the right way. It was a competitive game. I want my players to look after themselves and each other and compete within the laws of the game.
"That’s a start. Football is ultimately geared around results but with performances and applications like that, results will come. I’m disappointed but not despondent.”
The Cottagers travel to Birmingham on Saturday, with Symons looking to improve the West Londoners fortunes with a first win of the season.