Baldwin surprised by fans’ boos
PAT Baldwin has warned Colchester United fans that their their booing could prevent the U’s attracting new players to the club.
A sizeable section of The Weston Homes Community Stadium crowd voiced their frustrations after the U’s narrowly beat non-league side Swindon Supermarine 1-0 on Saturday, while there had been a similar reaction when the Essex side lost 2-0 at home to Brentford last Tuesday.
Loyal defender Baldwin admits the side has not been at their best in recent weeks, but says the negativity surprises him considering the bigger picture of Colchester’s season so far.
“I absolutely love our fans but I am a little bit surprised how they have been with us in the last few weeks,” said the 28-year-old.
“We know we can improve but we are sixth in the league, in the third round of the FA Cup and have only lost three league games in however many.
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“We try not to let the crowd’s reaction creep into our conversations in the dressing room but it was spoken about a bit today.
“If the club had brought a player to watch the game today with a view to impressing them then I think it would be difficult for him to want to sign.
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“As I say, I love our fans, they have been absolutely fantastic with me and the team through the nine years I have been here, but their reaction recently has surprised me.
“We were maybe lucky not to concede and we know we can play better, but the main thing is we are through.”
Echoing Baldwin’s thoughts that the home crowd could be having an adverse reaction on their own team, Swindon Supermarine boss Mark Collier revealed he actually tried to use it as a tactic.
He said: “I came to watch their game against Brentford on Tuesday and the crowd booed them then so I knew there would be an expectation amongst their fans for them to beat a non-league team comfortably, an expectation for them to get on top and roll us over.
“I said to my players before the game, could we get the home crowd booing and turn their crowd against them? I thought that could be the case and that’s what happened.
“I’m sure it is disappointing for John Ward to hear his home crowd booing his side after they’ve just won a football match, but I’m also sure he is used to it being in the business he is in.”
Asked what he thought of the home crowd’s reaction, U’s boss John Ward refused to comment. He said: “I have got my views but I will keep them in my own head.”