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Fulham manager Chris Coleman has jumped to the defence of Andy Cole.

Cole was jeered by some sections of the crowd during Fulham’s 3-1 defeat to Newcastle on Wednesday.

The former Manchester United striker endured a disappointing night against his old employers at Craven Cottage and Coleman blamed a lack of fitness for his below-par showing.

“It’s not just our crowd, it’s crowds all around the country that have this thing about Andy Cole,” said Coleman.

“There is nothing I or Andy can do about it.

“He has scored 12 goals in all competition and is one of the highest scorers in the Premiership in a team which is at the wrong end of the table. His goals have been incredibly important to us.

“He was not on form against Newcastle but neither were the other 10 players.

Andy’s fitness is not what it should be but we have not really got any alternatives at the moment so we had to play him.