Stags midfielder Anthony Howell is calling on supporters to unite behind the team when they need it now rather than wait until things are going well again.
Howell and his team mates have taken some nasty stick from a minority section of the Stags’ fans, but Howell knows how important the fans’ backing is in helping Mansfield turn the season around, starting tomorrow at Portsmouth.
“We have been quality away from home,” he said. “The lads have been on it and I hope we can keep that going at Portsmouth. But we are disappointed it’s not been the same at home.
“It’s more of a focus within the mindset of the lads. Most people are not happy where we are in the league and that is understandable.
“People make their views known, though it’s unfortunate when that is during the game. But you just have to roll your sleeves up.
“It is not nice, but it’s human nature and part and parcel of the game. It’s your job. If you were in the Premiership with the size of their crowds there would be a lot more people booing.
“We are doing everything possible to keep strong and block out the negatives. I have been here three seasons now and I have had boos and people shout at me. But I have not once reacted.
“You get back in the changing room and players put an arm around me or the gaffer talks to me and when you get home your family tell you there’s nothing to worry about.”
He added: “We want the fans on board with us. This is an important time and we need everyone together as we have this last 20 games left to make sure we stay in the league and move up the table.
“At the moment some are not pulling the right way as supporters of Mansfield Town.
“It seems that around Christmas time we get booed, then we pick up and fans start to warm to us. It’s disappointing it should have to be like that as I think they should be on board anyway as supporters, though we are happy to receive constructive criticism.”
Just two weeks after the game at Exeter, the Stags are back on the road for another gruelling haul today and Howell said: “It is a long way down there and I will just get my rest in and maybe have a dip in the pool at the hotel.
“I like to get as much rest as possible. I share a room with Lindon Meikle so I will go for a walk to try to get away from him for a bit.
“I take a pillow and sleep all the way down there. I wake up when we are nearly there so it doesn’t seem as long a journey.
“Some of the lads like to play cards. But I have a baby at home so I like to get my sleep in and have a bit of a rest.
“I am always thrown in with Lindon. I was in with Junior Daniel but he likes Ben Hutchinson in with him as they like to play cards. No one else likes to be in with Lindon!”