Payne interview: Blame the players as well as the manager for slump

Joe Payne has an important role to play as skipper during a difficult time. Photo: David Lowndes
Joe Payne has an important role to play as skipper during a difficult time. Photo: David Lowndes
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Captain Jack Payne admits much of the blame for Peterborough United slump should rest with the club’s players.

Manager Darren Ferguson has come in for scathing criticism after his team lose five of their last six League One matches.

They haven’t won a league fixture since beating Barnsley at the ABAX Stadium on 18 October.

Payne understands the dismay of supporters, but has appealed for them to remain firmly behind the club.

Payne, who turns 23 today (Friday), said: “You get into a rut when losing games.

“You have to wait a week to try to put the previous result right and then end up being beaten again.

“It is hard to get a defeat out of your mind and switch off when you get home to your family.

“I’ve got kids and over time you learn to relax a bit and clear your mind before getting back into football the next day.

“It is tough for everyone but we have to stick together. We have to keep approaching training in the right manner and remain positive that it will turn around.

“You can always tell when the fans are unhappy, but they pay their money and they are entitled to their opinions.

“We just have to hope they stick with us and have faith in us to turn things around.

“The manager obviously sets the team up in the way he wants us to play, but it is up to us as players to do the job once we are out on the pitch.

“If the team is not at it then we are not going to win games regardless of the system and tactics.”

Payne has an important role as skipper at such a difficult time.

The former Gillingham man insists he will do all he can on and off the pitch to influence an improvement.

Payne added: “I need to make sure the group stays together and that the moral remains good.

“I enjoy the extra responsibility in the changing room that comes with being captain.

“We proved earlier in the season that we can be successful by playing free-flowing football and we need to get back to that.

“I’m convinced we are only one win away from turning things around.”

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