Peterborough United manager Steve Evans reckons the boos he received from the club’s fans yesterday (December 26) will only make him more determined to succeed.
Evans was heckled by visiting fans after a 2-0 Boxing Day defeat at Barnsley left Posh in sixth place in League One.
The Posh boss accepts the supporters’ right to voice criticism, but he is concerned about the effect it will have on the club’s players, many of whom have struggled for form and confidence during a run of one League One win in eight matches.
“Hearing fans having a pop at me is nothing new,” Evans said. “They pay their money to watch and they are entitled to an opinion. It won’t bother me as I’ve suffered it in every promotion season I’ve ever experienced.
“Once at Rotherham a fan ripped up his season ticket and threw it at me after a home defeat. When we beat Preston in the play-off semi-final and Orient in the final the same fan wanted to hug me. I didn’t let him because I don’t forget, but that’s how fickle fans are.
“It wasn’t pleasant yesterday, but it’s worse listening to players on the coach home baffled by personal social media abuse that suggests were are sixth bottom rather than sixth top. It’s all so self-defeating as at the end of the day supporters, platers and management all want the same thing. We are sixth, we have just lost our second away game of the season on Boxing Day and we could be fourth if results go our way this weekend. The clubs above us are all bigger than us and well supported.
“I actually think the atmosphere during games has been good. We have great supporters, but others who would still be moaning if we were 10 points clear at the top of the table.
“There’s nothing I’d like more than returning home on Saturday after a comfortable win and in fourth place after the Barnsley/Charlton result goes our way.”
Posh have a tricky game at Accrington on Saturday (December 29) when a decisive win coupled with a draw at Barnsley would move Posh up to fourth.
Defenders Ryan Tafazolli and Jason Naismith will have fitness checks today. Naismith limped out of yesterday’s defeat with a knee problem, while Tafazolli, who played well at Barnsley, has been nursing a groin problem.
Experienced centre-back Sebastien Bassong is struggling with a calf injury, while midfielder Callum Cooke missed yesterday’s contest because of illness.
Midfielder Jermaine Anderson returns to Posh next week as League One rivals Doncaster have decided against extending his loan.