Hartlepool United fans have hit back at ‘unfair’ criticism from striker Jake Cassidy for being too negative towards their own players.
Cassidy, who is currently on loan with Maidstone United, slammed Pools supporters for creating a ‘poisonous’ atmosphere at the Super 6 Stadium and dragging players’ confidence down.
The 25-year-old said: “I don’t think they’re good to many people, to be fair.
“If it’s not going well it’s a bit poisonous. That’s the stigma around the club. It’s just a negative club.”
But a number of supporters said it was unfair for Cassidy to tar all supporters with the same brush.
They accepted many fans’ feel frustrated following years of decline including relegation in 2017 and the club almost ceasing to exist last year.
Fan Jack Twydale said: “I’ve always been a bit annoyed when players come out and slate the fans, when the reality is that the fans will always support the club.
“We know our level, we know that the players may not be of a high standard, which we can accept. But after so many years of unrest and poor play, the one thing we will not accept is a lack of effort.
“Kabamba came in and has made an impact, as shown with the song already being sung by the fans.”
Season ticket holder Alastair Rae, who has supported Hartlepool United for 54 years, said: “I think it’s unjustified criticism.
“There will always be a small minority that are quick to criticise.
“I think what Jake Cassidy has got to realise is Hartlepool fans have had eight or nine years of decline and under performing on the pitch.
“When fans are paying their hard earned money to watch their beloved football team they want to see passion, effort and commitment and it’s fair to say in recent years not all players have done that.”
Neil Appleyard, of Hartlepool United Disabled Supporters Association (HUDSA), said: “If we were that negative why are 3,000 people turning up every week?
“We do our best to support the players. It is really quite frustrating when you see these comments.
“The supporters put their money where their mouth is last year. If that’s being negative I’d like to see what being positive is.”
But some fans on social media agreed with Cassidy.
On Twitter, Ash Winspear said: “I agree with him on the fans and the general atmosphere.”
And Alan Clark said: “Can’t argue with anything he has said to be fair. It is like a vipers pit at Pools most games.”