Fans' 'stick' comes as no surprise to Hughes

Mark Bowen yesterday insisted Fulham supporters were wrong to hurl abuse at manager Mark Hughes during their side's Barclays Premier League defeat against West Ham.

Hughes was subjected to chants of 'You don't know what you're doing' and 'Hughes out' after the Cottagers threw away the lead in Sunday's 3-1 home defeat to the Hammers.

The result sucked Fulham into the drop zone, level on points with their previously rock-bottom opponents, and piled the pressure on Hughes less than six months into his reign.

Asked if fans were too quick to turn on their manager, assistant boss Bowen said: "I'm bound to say yes because I'm at the sharp end of the stick."

Hughes admitted supporters were within their rights to call for his head and Bowen added: "I'm sure Mark fully accepts it. He's used to it, he's got broad shoulders. You take stick as a player, when you play poorly, from fans because they pay the wages and they're entitled to their opinion.

"It's the same with managers and coaches."

Fulham head to Stoke today for whom Matthew Etherington will require a fitness test because of an ankle injury.