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We don't live in a bubble... we know Ulster fans expect better, says coach Niall Malone

Frank admission by Kingspan coach Malone over poor results run

By Jonathan Bradley

With their Champions Cup hopes all but over, Ulster coach Niall Malone knows that winning is the only thing that will quell unrest among the Kingspan faithful.

The side are essentially out of Europe after five rounds of pool action, although could still reach the last eight should several results go in their favour, and have lost eight of their last 12 in all competitions after a hot start.

Malone admits the squad are aware of the growing criticism but has told supporters that the team are doing everything they can to put things right.

"We don't live in a bubble where we don't notice it," Malone said.

"When other teams we compete against are doing well, obviously there's a contrast.

"I suppose we always say we expect high standards from ourselves and we're always disappointed when we don't match them.

"We definitely feel the heat and we're conscious that the supporters and the press are disappointed with how we're playing.

"We're as, or more, disappointed than anyone that we're not playing well. If you start winning again, everything looks brighter."

That means that, even with little but pride to play for, Ulster will be fielding a side as close to full strength as possible when French side Bordeaux-Begles visit on Saturday afternoon (1pm kick-off).

Full story: Win will energise Ulster: Malone

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