Bristol City skipper Cole Skuse defends players
BRISTOL City captain Cole Skuse launched a passionate defence of his team-mates after angry fans turned on the team at Blackburn.
Having travelled hundreds of miles to watch the Robins lose 2-0 in an FA Cup third round tie at Ewood Park, furious supporters vented their frustration at the final whistle.
But as his team-mates were leaving the pitch to chants of "what a load of rubbish" from the 400-strong travelling contingent, Skuse took it upon himself to confront supporters behind the goal.
Visibly upset by accusations that the players are not giving 100 per cent, Skuse attempted to put the record straight on behalf of Robins manager Derek Mcinnes and his team-mates.
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In a brutally honest post-match interview, the Bristolian revealed: "There were a few angry fans and I know they were entitled to feel that way.
"But the manner in which they were shouting to the lads was not right and I felt I should go over and take it upon myself to see what was happening.
"I spoke to four or five of the fans and they felt the lads were not really doing enough for the club and not putting it in on the pitch.
"I told them there is not one player at this club that would purposely walk onto the pitch and not give it a go and put himself about.
"I told them that we are an honest group of boys and that they need to get behind us during what is going to be a massive four months for the club. They have to stick with us.
"No-one in our dressing room wants to play in League One and to accuse us of not trying is wrong.
"You are going to have bad days as a professional footballer, but the minimum requirement is to run yourself into the ground and give 100 per cent effort and I want the fans to know we are all trying our hardest.
"The last thing we want is for people to be questioning our effort and commitment to the club."
As a youngster, Skuse followed the team all over the country and empathises with supporters, who are enduring another difficult season.
But he felt he had to make a stand on behalf of his team-mates when the criticism became too much.
He explained: "I've been in their position myself many times. I'm a Bristol City fan and I've been to plenty of away games myself with my Dad, my family and my friends. Of course, the fans are entitled to have their say. Football is no longer a cheap day out and they spend strong money and travel a long way to follow us. They can say what they like, but they have to know that, from the point of view of our dressing room, we are trying our utmost. Things are just not working out for us and this performance was not acceptable as far as we are concerned.
"I wanted them to know that we are doing our bit for the club and that we desperately want to get out of the position we are in. We have put ourselves in this position and we will get ourselves out of it."
Already without Albert Adomah and Stephen McManus, City were further hampered by the loss through injury of Richard Foster, Joe Bryan, Marvin Elliott and top-scorer Sam Baldock. McInnes must now hope all four are fit when the Robins return to Championship action at home to Leicester City next Saturday.