Mansfield Town midfielder Adam Chapman looks set to wear a protective mask over his face at Bristol Rovers on Saturday to protect his broken nose after an operation to fix it yesterday.
Chapman, chief target for the boo boys in recent games, suffered the break by Ryan Tafazolli’s elbow in training on Friday and played on with it in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Yeovil Town in which he was booed off again when substituted in the second half.
“He has his operation yesterday,” said boss Adam Murray.
“Taff broke his nose on Friday. I said to Chappie it was the first time he’d headed it all season, so that’s what happens.
“It was a bad one. We didn’t realise how bad it was until he went in.
“He’s had his sausage fixed. It wasn’t the best-looking sausage in the world anyway – it was all over the place.
“I asked the surgeon if he could make it smaller, which Chappie was happy about. They said it was worse than we thought and they had to give it a right few clicks.
“He had his mask moulded while he was under so he will rest today but he’s straight back in tomorrow, no problems.”
Murray said the heckling of Chapman in recent games was so unjust as to be comical.
“The thing is with Chappie, with the group, with me and my staff, we know what a good player he is,” said Murray.
“I’ve seen it all too many times here. Chappie made three or four great passes at times on Saturday and nobody says anything. He makes one not-so-good pass, as he is a footballer and he takes risks, and everybody is on him.
“It’s a little bit embarrassing really to cheer when one of your own players gets taken off. It doesn’t say that as supporter in the dictionary.
“You might not like a player. Sometimes last year I didn’t like some players. “But you still back them because you support them. If you want to moan about it, do it in the pub.
“If he’s not your cup of tea, fair enough. We can’t argue with that. Everyone has got an opinion about me, about every different player, about the coaching staff, about the chairman – that’s fine.
“But when you come into this environment, we all want the same thing. If we didn’t there’d be an issue.”
He continued: “It won’t affect Chappie as he knows how good he is. We are bored about speaking about things like this now.
“He finds it as funny as I do and the rest of the boys do. The rest of this league, the managers, and players who play against him, know what a good player he is. When he gets those kid of remarks it’s become comical.
“We were actually laughing on the bench as he came off as it’s such a joke – very silly.
“The funny thing is that we spoke to their staff afterwards, they said what a great job you’re doing here. You’re having a great season, I can’t believe they are booing. That was good to know.
“Most fans clapped us off at the end. It was decent for us. We walked off gutted, frustrated, angry as were the fans. But the big majority clapped us off as they knew we’d had a go.
“We appreciate those kind of people and that’s why we give our heart and soul every game for them.
“Not for the people who want to take the frustration of the cat doing a turd in the living room and they can’t clean it up – that’s not my fault.”