Nigel Adkins still believes that positive results for Charlton Athletic can repair his relationship with the club’s fanbase – despite being on the receiving end of abuse after the 3-2 loss to Accrington Stanley tonight.
The Addicks are now four points adrift of safety after a Valley reverse watched by owner Thomas Sandgaard, who flew in from the US.
There were a number of chants urging Sandgaard to replace Adkins. The experienced boss was also booed off the pitch at half-time and full-time.
Adkins – when asked if there was any way to turn around his fortunes with the supporters – said: “It’s just human nature. If we go and win games of football it is going to help, it’s going to aid it. What has happened has happened. You can’t change it. All you can do is come in and work very hard.
“Confidence is a big thing in football and in life. You’ve got to keep doing the right things, be strong and keep good habits. We’ve got to do that as a team. It’s a simple game – put it in one end and keep it out the other. We’ve not been keeping it out of our net sufficiently enough and therefore results have gone against us.
“It’s human nature that confidence will start to wane. Likewise when you’re playing in the arena, it is not an easy place to be in. We all want to be in there – some people can handle that pressure and some people find it really, really challenging. But when we’re doing well the supporters have been unbelievably behind the players. Fantastic, fantastic support.
“But I can understand when things are going against us, it’s a challenge. And someone has got to bear the brunt of the frustration. I understand, and we’ve seen it in football so many times, it’s me. I’ve done many talks over the years and highlighted several managers – and you can talk about all the top ones – have been in this situation.
“But what you do is have belief in yourself and you learn about yourself even more, you learn about the people you are surrounded with – and how they respond to it.
“I’ve got thick skin. I want to be here, that’s an important thing. And for me it is how I can keep putting ourselves in a position to learn from mistakes which are happening because you’ve got to. But we all know the reality of football. I’ll put that to one side and keep doing my job to the best of my ability.
“We’re at the wrong end of the table and to affect that – and it’s going to take a long period of time now, we’re not going to win one game and catapult ourselves up the table – this is going to be a grind. We’re going to need to have that grit and determination to grind it through. One step and one stage at a time to accumulate the points.”
Asked if he had experienced the levels of hostility he suffered tonight before in his career, Adkins replied: “It’s not nice. I’m not going to say it is, because it’s not pleasant.
“If anybody here is getting shouted at the way people are venting their frustrations you’re either going to collapse and go into a corner or you have to stand there and understand why that is happening.
“I think I’m a good person. I don’t think I’m a bad person. I think I’ve got the right values in life. At the moment results are going against us and because of that I am the one who has got to be accountable for that and the brunt of all the frustrations.
“If the frustration comes on me and not on the players then hopefully they can play with that freedom and confidence because ultimately when they cross the white line they are the ones passing the ball, keeping it out of the net and putting it in the back of the net.”
PICTURE: PAUL EDWARDS