Dougie Freedman wants Crystal Palace fans to be patient and accept the rough with the smooth on the long journey to success.

Eight games without a win has seen the Eagles limp toward the end of the season and a section of fans begin to lose patience with the Scot’s defensive style of play.

But manager Freedman has hit back and urged the supporters to get behind the team and understand there is no quick fix to go from relegation candidates to promotion contenders.

“We understand where we are going and if we can keep that strong, united club then we will move forward,” he said.

“As long as everybody pulls together and heads in the right direction we will eventually get there.

“If anybody is negative around me or the club then I will put them straight – we cannot have whispers within the club or within the stand of what we are trying to do.

“We must all understand that, over the next three or four years I will get the team to where it belongs.

“We can’t go out there and spend big money, we have to either pinch lower league players, get players from abroad or produce young players and we are trying to have a mix of that.

“Eventually, we would like to have a team packed with our home grown players but, on the way, we will have a lot of ups and downs, results will suffer and the style of play will suffer but eventually, as long as we have a long term goal, that is the key.

“When we started this season, we were coming out of a relegation battle the past two years and the short term mission was to bring back a bit of culture, make sure we had a feel good factor around the place and move up the table.

“We have had some fantastic occasions in the derby games as well against Millwall, West Ham and Brighton.

“The biggest thing I am proud about is I have youngsters coming into the team I really believe in. If I can pick up points while producing young players that’s the key.”

Palace drew 1-1 with Ipswich Town on Saturday when Chris Martin opened the scoring and then lost 2-1 at Portsmouth on Tuesday, with Darren Ambrose scoring his 10th goal of the season from the spot.