independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Ruiz understands fans' frustrations

Bryan Ruiz, right, says he and his team-mates understand Fulham fans' frustrations

Bryan Ruiz understands why Fulham fans are angry following their poor start to the season.

For the second time this term, chants of "Jol out" could be heard at Craven Cottage on Saturday as Fulham slumped to yet another defeat - this time at the hands of newly promoted Cardiff.

Owner Shahid Khan offered Jol words of encouragement before the game and although bookmakers shortened the odds of the Dutchman being sacked afterwards, Fulham insisted on Monday that it was business as usual at the club's Motspur Park training ground.

There is no escaping the fact that Fulham are in the relegation zone after claiming four points from their opening six Barclays Premier League games and Ruiz acknowledges that the club's fans have every right to be angry.

"We understand their frustrations," Ruiz told Fulham's website.

"But we are all together in this and this week in training we will all work hard to make sure we get the three points in the next game."

Ruiz cancelled out Steven Caulker's opener on Saturday, but Jordan Mutch struck in added time to give Cardiff the win and prompt yet more ire from the Fulham faithful, who have not seen their team win a home game in the league since April.

Conceding late on in matches has been a big problem for Fulham recently as Newcastle and West Brom have also bagged last-gasp goals against the Cottagers this season.

Had Fulham held on in those matches, they would be joint 10th.

Ruiz realises the team must improve in that department.

"The result was hard to take, especially because it's happened a lot in the last few games when we've conceded late goals. It's something we need to work on," he said.

"I was very happy with the goal because it was a nice shot but when you lose like that, it doesn't mean much. It was a great goal for them but it cannot keep happening.

"We had at least one point so to lose like that at the end is difficult."

Jol insisted after the game that he is the right man to extend Fulham's 12-year stay in the Premier League.

The Dutchman will have a chance to ease supporters' concerns on Saturday when Fulham take on Stoke, who are managed by his predecessor Mark Hughes.

It remains to be seen if Scott Parker, who came off in the sixth minute on Saturday, will be available.

But Ruiz looks set to be fit for the game against the Potters after overcoming an ankle injury that caused him problems earlier this season.

"My ankle is good," the Costa Rican said.

"It's not perfect yet but in a couple of days I will be fine."

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