Hughes sympathy over frustration
Mark Hughes admitted Fulham's fans were within their rights to call for his head after their 3-1 home defeat to West Ham dragged the club into the Barclays Premier League drop zone.
The Cottagers boss left the field to chants of "Hughes out", having earlier been subjected to taunts of "You don't know what you're doing" as he watched his side throw away a one-goal lead against the rock-bottom Hammers. The result - an eighth game without a win for Fulham - ensured they would end the weekend in the drop zone, level on points with their opponents.
Hughes, who is now under real pressure less than six months after succeeding Roy Hodgson, said: "When you lose home games I think they're well within their rights to vent frustration, because they've seen their team lose at home, which is not something that's happened on that regular an occasion."
He added: "But I think deep down, the vast majority understand what we're trying to do and it will take time, and we've just got to be patient.
"If we do that, there are good players here and we'll come through the other end.
"But, at the moment, it's frustrating for everyone because we're better than we've shown."
Hughes inherited a squad that reached last season's Europa League final but he maintained the loss of key players to injury was destroying his hopes of building on his predecessor's success.
The loss of star striker Bobby Zamora has been particularly telling and Hughes revealed he desperately needed to sign a forward when the transfer window opens on Saturday.
"I think that's evident from what we're producing," he said. "We do okay to a certain extent in terms of keeping possession and looking neat and tidy but you need that physical presence and cutting edge like I keep talking about.
"We've got AJ (Andy Johnson) who's been out of the game for a long, long time and is still building his fitness and sharpness, and that's understandable and it's difficult to hang your hat on him when he's been out for so long."