Veteran Mansfield Town midfielder Neal Bishop has hit out at fans booing their own players after Saturday’s 1-0 home FA Cup win over National League bottom side Chorley.
But some supporters on social media and fans’ site Stagsnet disagreed with his thoughts.
Stags were made to work hard for their 81st minute winner to reach round two, but Bishop was clearly upset by the post-match reaction, pointing out the effect it can have on the younger players in the dressing room
Stags have struggled at home this season and the number of fans showing their displeasure has been rising. But this was the first time fans had actually booed a win.
Bishop said: “After playing professional football for nearly 15 years, playing at every level in this county expect Premier League, and as a lifelong Boro fan, I have never experienced anything like that today.
“Getting so aggressively booed off after a win by the majority of the crowd is something I’ve never seen.
“We had some younger lads in the dressing room after the game in absolute astonishment at what had just happened.
“People need to let the disappointment of last season go. We messed up. We didn’t get promotion. We’re truly sorry.
“But the negativity and toxic atmosphere that currently surrounds our club at home games is not going to turn back time.
“I would say stop scapegoating people and get behind the boys, because the truth is the lads prefer playing away from home at the minute, and that should never be the case.
“We all want to be successful, but castigating and abusing the people who are giving everything for the cause is not going to achieve anything.
“I appreciate people spend their hard-earned cash to watch football and are entitled to voice their opinion in any way they please.
“But if anyone thinks booing and abusing their own players is going to make things better and help the team then they are very, very wrong.”
Amber Andy agreed, saying: “I think we should take note of what Bishop is saying. He is a senior pro who has vast experience.
“If he is saying the booing and comments are affecting performances, then let’s act on that. Stop the booing.
“Also you need to understand how the booing affects the rest of the fans.
“It simply makes it a toxic atmosphere and not a place you want to come back too. Children in particular. The team wins and some of the fans boo. Strange!”
NorthLondonStag added: “I don’t really understand the booing, especially when we’ve won. My son is excited that we are one game away from the third round and maybe a premiership team. He didn’t really understand the boos at the end.
“Imagine you were at work and every time you made a slight mistake all your colleagues/customers booed you. Probably wouldn’t make you feel so great. And wouldn’t improve your performance.
“I haven’t done the maths but it’s no surprise that our away form seems better recently than home (I think).”
Kernow said: “Must be honest I prefer the away games where the fans support the lads 100 per cent.”
Hucknallstag said: “Supporters turn very quickly at Mansfield, they always have. maybe it’s at the constant failure they’ve mainly had to endure over the years?”
Jamie said: “He’s makes a fair point, being booed off after a win isn’t normal, but it won’t change until performances do.
“It’s not about last season, its about how poor we are THIS season. Does he think if we were top seven now they would have been booed off yesterday? No they would not.”
But some fans were highly unimpressed by Bishop’s words, and Oldweststander said: “Sorry Bish, that’s the business you are in, you have been around long enough to know that, you are being let down by the manager not the supporters.”
BH_Stags said: “He should focus on improving his poor performances rather than moaning about fans booing another poor home display.
“The booing isn’t just a flippant result off the back of one game. It’s a build up of numerous poor results and performances at home.
“Bishop has a lot of experience yes, but I’d have thought he’d be a bit thicker-skinned and would be wise to the fact that the reaction is down to what we have seen THIS year.
“To put it down to last season’s ending is ridiculous, but maybe that’s just convenient for him considering he’s been poor all season.”
WVStag said: “In all honesty, Bishop should put his big boy pants on and allow themselves as players and more importantly the manager to account for this season’s showings on the pitch.
“They are all absolutely miles off it. Bishop thinks it’s because of last season, Broughton walked off yesterday shaking his head at the booing, Dempster walked off with hands out as if to ask ‘why are you booing?’ - are they that clueless? Do they genuinely believe that they’re doing all right and performances and results improving? Baffling.”
Bigalstag said: “Yet again, those fans that don’t roll and die, who voice an opinion, are the scapegoats for another diabolical performance by the team at home.
“The club and board have got away lightly,so far this season, over the shambles they created.”
Magicstag added: “Here we go again, players trying to blame the fans for their failings. Wipe ya tears and get your teammates to crack on and do what they’re paid to do and stop bleating.”
Adamstag said: “If you get booed man up and stop complaining.
“They’re being paid several grand a week to play in front of a few thousand folk. If you can’t deal with that football isn’t for you.”
Meanwhile, Jimstag hoped the club could turn the toxic situation in their favour, saying: “If the players genuinely feel like that there’s a big issue at the club.
“I think JD needs use it to create a siege mentality to drive player unity, if they turn on each over it all falls apart.
“Paul Cox did this well in the Conference, I think it was like this before they went on the crazy promotion run and the crowd turned behind them very quickly as we all want to.
“I agree that it isn’t helpful at the moment and I haven’t booed personally. I think the staff, management and players, need to do some work to understand why.
“It’s not the disappointment of last season as many have pointed out, the negativity on the pitch this season is fuelling it off the pitch and creative a toxic cycle. If things don’t change I can only see John and Carolyn having to make changes themselves which is the point many fans have already got to.”