MICHAEL BEALE has urged Sunderland’s supporters to ‘get behind the players’ rather than direct their unhappiness at him from the Stadium of Light stands.

On a difficult evening that saw the Black Cats suffer a 1-0 defeat to Hull City, Beale was subjected to criticism from his own fans.

Chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning” rang around Sunderland’s home stadium after Fabio Carvalho fired home a 71st-minute winner, with a chorus of “We want Beale out” accompanying the final whistle.

The former Rangers and QPR boss has overseen seven matches since replacing Tony Mowbray, overseeing two wins, a draw and four defeats, and is worried about the effect the mounting negativity is having on his youthful squad.

Beale said: “I think this young group are finding that difficult, it's the first time they’ve faced it. I'd ask the fans to get behind them.

“I get the frustration. They can see the effort on the park from the players and any help they can give them, they have to understand the strength of that.

“When you're at home and at a club like this you expect to win and we're the same, we're bitterly disappointed.

“I'm only a month into the job. It shows the expectation on managers now. I think the fans have to get behind the players on the park because they're a young group, and I don't think they realise the strength of their support to that young group in there.

“I'll take what comes my way, I'll take the responsibility of managing this club. It is what it is, if you win games people are happy and if you don't, they're not. For me, the result tonight was harsh on us.”

The majority of Sunderland supporters did not want Tony Mowbray to lose his job last month, but with the former Black Cats boss now in charge at Birmingham City, Beale is hoping the fans will draw a line under the past.

He said: “It shows that Tony did a good job, that the fans are passionate and liked him. But that's gone now, it isn't coming back. He's the manager of a rival club in the Championship now.

“He's got a lot of well-wishers at the club, he's a man that I know from coaching against him and on the circuit, and he's a guy that I like.

“It is a decision that had nothing to do with me, I came in after that decision. I'm doing my best with the staff that we've got and this young group to fulfil our ambition.

“We've got 18 games to go and we're in a better position than we were in this time last year, so I think... see the positivity. It's a club that a lot of players want to play for, that a lot of people would like to coach. That should tell you something.”