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Jimmy Bullard insists Fulham’s relegation-threatened plight is not down to a lack of endeavour, but admits the players owe the club’s supporters for the season of struggle.

Derby’s demotion to The Championship was confirmed against Fulham on Saturday, but the 2-2 draw with The Rams led to criticism from some quarters that Roy Hodgson’s side are not showing the requisite appetite to avoid the drop themselves.

Six points and a significantly inferior goal difference separate The Cottagers from safety, but Bullard is not about to throw the towel in.

“There will be criticism, but as long as the fans think you’re trying, they keep behind you,” said the affable midfielder.

“But we also know we haven’t given them enough to cheer about this season, and I want to change that.

“None of us want to go down and we’re not thinking that way, but we owe the fans and we all need to show them that on Saturday [against Sunderland.]”