WANDERERS midfielder Keith Andrews hopes the Reebok faithful will be right behind the team in the final match of 2012 against Birmingham City tomorrow.
The home fans were left frustrated on Boxing Day when Sheffield Wednesday’s sucker punch consigned them to a 1-0 defeat, their second loss of the festive programme.
And they vented their feelings at the full-time whistle with a chorus of boos. It is something the Republic of Ireland international, like manager Dougie Freedman, understands.
But he hopes the supporters will stick with the team during the game this weekend, admitting that jeers while the match is in progress do not help any of the players or their confidence.
Andrews said: “I can understand it at the end of the game. There is no issue with that because if you don’t play well you can’t expect plaudits – that's the way the game works.
“But during the game they need to stay with us a bit more.
“Criticising certain players, they need to analyse that, and think maybe ‘should I be doing this?’ because the ones they do criticise are the ones who roll up their sleeves and give 100 per cent week in, week out.
“If a pass doesn’t come off, it’s not because he wanted to hit a misplaced pass.
“In an ideal world they would stay with us a little bit more.”
Andrews, who moved to the Reebok in the summer, fully accepts the air of disappointment in the wake of back-to-back defeats against Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday, which resulted in them losing more ground on the promotion chasers.
But he says the players and coaching staff feel the pain just as much as the supporters and are desperate to give them some festive cheer to end a disappointing calendar year on a positive note.
The 32-year-old added: “Nobody likes turning up in front of 18 to 20,000 people and not producing as good a performance as we can, or a result.
“It is bitterly disappointing and no-one takes it worse than the players or the staff, I can assure the fans that.
“We want to turn it round. We want to try and salvage something from this season.
“We were in Christmas Day morning preparing. The manager has done it right since the Peterborough game, brought us in Christmas Eve, warmed down, worked on shape, then we did things right when we went home – you don’t get to enjoy the festivities like the fans do.
“But then to have sacrificed that and not get a reward is bitterly, bitterly disappointing, I can assure you.”