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Hutton: Belief intact

Alan Hutton reflected on our current plight and insisted: "We've not lost our belief."

Alan Hutton reflected on our current plight and insisted: "We've not lost our belief."

The Scottish international said he has no doubts that we have the quality in the squad to turn things around.

Full-back Alan made a welcome comeback from injury for his first appearance of the season in Sunday's Premier League encounter at Stoke.

Unfortunately his return couldn't inspire a change of fortunes as we lost out 2-1 in an eventful game - two sent off, one stretchered off, two penalties conceded - at the Britannia Stadium. The result left us bottom of the league and still waiting for a first win.

Attention has now turned to the UEFA Cup and our first group match against Seria A high-fliers Udinese.

Alan faced the media in the build-up and was asked if the players felt any guilt at the situation.

"Of course," he responded before our training session at Udinese's Stadio Friuli. "The manager picks the team, but it's us who go out and perform.

"We've got a lot of internationals and top-quality players and really a lot of the blame has to be pointed as us. We have to go out and get the results because that's what we haven't been doing. It's definitely us who have to start doing better and start performing the way we can.

"Expectations at the start of the season were very high and we have not fulfilled them. It's tough. I am just glad to be back from injury and I want to help. Hopefully, I can help us progress and move on.

"I'm not sure what the problem is. We did well in pre-season, confidence was high and everyone seemed to be performing but we have not clicked even though we have the quality to do well.

"The UEFA Cup is one of the big competitions for us. We've not started as well as we could have in the league and we're looking to do as well as we can.

"We have not lost belief. It's not been a great start, no-one would want this, but everybody believes in themselves. It's just a cast of going out there and everyone connecting, gelling and playing the way we know we can.

"I'm sure when it does click we'll show everyone what we can do."