Scott Parker wants Fulham fans to get behind a team he insists has “never let anyone down through lack of effort” despite their relegation from the Premier League.
Craven Cottage will welcome up to 2,000 supporters on Sunday for the visit of Newcastle, which was heralded as a relegation showdown earlier in the season before the Magpies pulled clear.
Fans have only been allowed into the Cottage once this term, when they made their voices heard during a 1-1 draw with Liverpool on December 13.
Although up to 10,000 are permitted under Government guidelines, the redevelopment of the Riverside Stand and tight concourses behind the goal areas leave the club restricted to just 2,000.
“I don’t know what reaction the players will get from the fans,” Parker admitted.
“I hope that the fans come in and support this team, this team has never let anyone down through lack of effort, through a lack of pride or professionalism.
“This is a group of players who have worked tirelessly throughout this season to try their hardest to stay in this division, and where we’ve fallen short at times is due to maybe a bit of a lack of quality at this level and the level of what this league is.
“I’m sure the fans will appreciate the players in that even though they are disappointed.”
Fulham’s squad this season has been made up largely of loan players, and Parker said all are set to return to their parent clubs following the conclusion of the Newcastle match.
He said: “I think that will probably be the case, there is no player here on loan who has an automatic buy-in so those players will probably be leaving the football club at this present moment in time.
“We’ll then look to go over the summer and work out where we need to go from there really.”
Fulham have been relegated along with Sheffield United and West Brom, and although the other two clubs have already parted ways with their managers Parker stressed the importance of continuity.
“I think we’re all in agreement that continuity at a football club is very important, of course it is,” the Fulham boss said.
“It’s decisions and the decisions we make between now and the end of the season will also contribute to that so those decisions and where we go, and the plan, and coming back up from the difficult league.
“That’s what it is, it’s not as easy as thinking that you just came out of the Premier League and you can bounce back, and I think you’ve seen that over the course of time with big teams that are still in that league.
“So of course continuity is important but also the decisions we make from now on in will be as well if we’re going to be successful next year.”