Sky Sports pundit: Fulham fans must back their team

Fulham Craven Cottage

Fulham legend Tony Gale has urged the fans to support their team, no matter how bad things appear to get.

54-year old Gale started his career in West London, going on to make 277 league appearances for Fulham, before moving to West Ham and Blackburn - with whom he won the 1995 Premier League title.

He currently works as a pundit for Sky Sports, as well as writing a weekly column for the official Fulham website.

And it was in his column that he reviewed the Cottagers early start to the season, urging the fans to get behind their team, even whilst everything appears negative.

Having failed to win a single game this Championship season, Fulham sit in last place, gaining just one point from a 1-1 draw with Cardiff City. Despite spending a Championship record transfer fee on forward Ross McCormack, the Cottagers have scored just three goals this campaign - with McCormack failing to net even a single strike - whilst they have conceded 13 - including three at the weekend as Fulham fell to defeat at Reading.

A midweek trip to Nottingham Forest beckons on Wednesday, and many would think that a seventh straight game without victory is on the cards - with a defeat looking increasingly likely.

Whilst Gale understands that supporter frustration is inevitable, he has insisted that it makes it even harder for the players to perform with the added pressure.

"I know the supporters are frustrated at the moment but it doesn’t help anyone when the fans are on your back. I was at Southampton versus Newcastle on Saturday and the away fans were on their team’s back and you could see the players were petrified to play.

"It’s not going to help us.

"We’ve got a young side so players with inexperience get frightened to get on the ball, they get frightened to do things that they normally do instinctively, and, of course, defensively it makes you think about something a split second longer. When you think about something a split second longer in defence it normally results in a mistake because you’re not playing with that freedom of thought.

"And this is what a losing run does.”

Wholesale changes at Craven Cottage have required the use of a young side this season, and 13 players under the age of 21 have been utilised so far. Their situation is remarkably different to the one at midweek visitors Forest, who boosted their already strong squad with a number of top class arrivals.

Having enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season, Gale has noticed their desire to play every game marks them out as a tough opponent.

"They’re in a totally different position to us whereby they can’t wait for the next game to come up because they’ve got a good run going, they’ve got the crowd going, they’ve got the new manager in who was installed at the start of the season and is a local hero - so everything’s going in their favour.

"It’s a difficult one on Wednesday but also one that we’ve got to embrace, because I don’t think anyone believes we’re going to get anything there. It will be difficult but if we do get something, it could be the type of thing that gets our season off and running.”

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