Barry Hayles was disappointed to see his old team-mate Kit Symons sacked but believes the future is still bright for Fulham.

Hayles and Symons were team-mates at Craven Cottage for three years at the turn of the century, winning two promotions as the Whites returned to the top flight for the first time in more than three decades.

Symons was this week sacked as Fulham boss after a 5-2 home drubbing by Birmingham confirmed the board’s belief that he was not the right man to lead a charge back to the Premier League.

Hayles said: “You could see it coming really. The 5-2 home defeat was the final nail in the coffin, but it wasn’t just that, it had been brewing for a while. They brought him in to do a steady job and that’s what he did, but they need to step up to the next level now, and Kit was struggling to do that.

“They want to go back up to the Premier League, and there is a fantastic squad which is good enough to be up there challenging, but I don’t think Kit was getting the best out of the players. I was disappointed to see him go as we’re old team-mates who go back a long way, and I know he loves the club as much as I do. They could have given him until Christmas to see through his 18-month contract, but the club needed a breath of fresh air.”