Everton midfielder Tom Davies has insisted he can sympathise with fans amidst the disappointment of their start to the Premier League season.
The 19-year-old, once of the Goodison Park terraces himself, was one of many of youth stars former boss Ronald Koeman (and now current caretaker, David Unsworth) bled into the Toffees starting XI, claiming a regular first-team spot following the turn of the year.
Things looked bright at the back end of the last campaign. However, following a mixed transfer window where eight new faces were introduced on Merseyside - but no replacement for star-striker Romelu Lukaku was found - the start to this term has been anything but.
Only their last-gasp 3-2 win over Watford last weekend was enough to remove the Europa League side from the relegation zone, and that three points came with unrivalled fortune in the shape of former player Tom Cleverly missing a last minute penalty.
Signs of disgruntlement have never been far away from the Goodison Park faithful and Davies understands the fans' frustrations. However, he insists that his side are doing all they can to turn their fortunes around this term.
"It hurt", the teenager told the Blues' official website.
"You’ve grown up watching it and you know how it feels to the fans when the team is losing. But I don’t go out there to perform badly - I go out there trying to do my best, and it’s just that sometimes that doesn’t happen. It’s the same with the team.
"We always go out there with the belief that we can win and put in a good performance. We are working on getting the squad together.
"We’ve got a lot of new signings and the players that we’ve brought in are all quality players. We just need to gel and we are working on that. It’s been going well in training and we now need to put that into the games."
After gaining a stranglehold on a regular first-team spot within the Everton side in the second half of last season, Davies' regularity had taken a hit under Koeman with the influx of new teammates.
However, since Unsworth has taken control, albeit temporarily, for the moment anyway, three out of the youngster's five starts so far this term have come under the former defender, including in the win over Watford.
"I didn’t expect my career to be all flowers and roses when I started out, and I don’t expect it to be like that for the rest of my time in football", the midfielder added.
"It’s just another part of my career, really, and it’s a good challenge for me to show that I can play in the team and hopefully show how good I am to the coach and fans. I’m definitely going to work on that.
"It’s also good in training to have the new players so I can learn from them. For me, this is a great development part of my career and if I can get ahead of the players that have been brought in, that can only be good for me."
Davies will be hoping he can retain his spot and is named amongst the starting line-up once again when the Toffees travel to Crystal Palace at the weekend following the conclusion of the international break.