Aston Villa caretaker boss Eric Black said the club faces a battle to get the fans back onside after a record-equalling 10th home loss of the season.
Villa are now 15 points from safety with six games left after a 4-0 defeat by Chelsea which saw several protests.
Fans held up banners targeting owner Randy Lerner, with others saying: ‘Proud history, what future?’
Asked if Villa could win them over, Black said: “It’s got to happen, and it will. How quickly, I don’t know.”
Villa’s 10 home league defeats matched the same number in 2013-14 under former manager Paul Lambert.
Black, who took over from Remi Garde after the Frenchman was sacked on Tuesday, added: “When the team is bottom of the league, I can understand the disconnect with the supporters.
“We have to give the supporters something, not the other way round. It’s been a hard season for them.”
Banners were apparent throughout the game as Villa capitulated to a Chelsea team inspired by second-half substitute Oscar, while Alexandre Pato scored on his long-awaited debut.
Protests were planned for the 74th minute, to correspond with the year – 1874 – that Villa were founded, and when the moment arrived there was a mass show of discontent from the home supporters.
Matters were made worse when Alan Hutton was sent off in the 85th minute.
Black added: “We are under no illusions that the problems are running deeper [than the result].
“The fans need to see some kind of effort, there was a certain amount of that, but the quality lets the players down. You would have to ask the players if they have shown enough fight.
“I’ve spoken to them. We are professionals and we needed to be professional and I’ve outlined that. We need to continue to work hard to get this club back to where it should be.”