Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said he knows all too well what it’s like when the fans turn on you as Adam Chapman tries to fight his way back into the affection of Stags fans.
Chapman had a successful loan spell at the club, helping them to promotion in 2013 and began this season well enough.
But once his form took a dip he took some vicious stick from home fans who jeered him off the field while being substituted.
However, after five games out the side, Chapman came back for Saturday’s 3-2 win over Dagenham & Redbridge and Murray, who also took some stick at times as a usually successful Stags player in the past, said “He is a great player and I think he came out at the right time.
“Adam took a lot on personally. He played every game, he trained every training session. Mentally and physically he had given everything and it caught up with him. So we gave him a breather.
“Now he is looking strong and I thought he played well on Saturday. When you get a scapegoat, it takes time to change that.
“I had it here at times where (they shouted) your legs are gone, you’re not good enough, can’t run blah blah blah. Then you come out the team and it’s ‘we’re missing you, we need you ‘ - that’s football.”
He continued: “Chappy is a big guy – a big character. People think he’s older than he is because he’s done so much. But he’s only 26, so he’s got a long time to go in his career and he is very important for us.
“The real fans get behind him and back him, like on Saturday. If you get the odd mumbling that someone doesn’t like him, then that’s football opinions which we appreciate and respect.
“There are people that don’t like me – that won’t change what I am doing.”