Roeder slams small minority of U's fans

NORWICH City manager, Glenn Roeder, has slammed a small minority of Colchester United fans for hurling some “terrible” abuse in his direction on Saturday.

By Carl Marston

NORWICH City manager, Glenn Roeder, has slammed a small minority of Colchester United fans for hurling some “terrible” abuse in his direction on Saturday.

However, his criticism seems to have been blown all out of all proportion. The incident appears to have involved just one or two “supporters,” who vented their anger during the post-match press interviews following the 1-1 draw.

“We don't condone such behaviour, but Glenn (Roeder) was up in the board room having a drink with George (U's boss Geraint Williams) and the two chairmen after the match, and he made no mention of the incident,” explained U's Chief Executive Marie Partner last night.

“In fact, I was with Delia Smith (Norwich Director) at the end, and she told me how she loved coming to Layer Road. She said that she always gets a better welcome here than at most other clubs.

“Managers are always open to abuse, but they should rise above it. Glenn didn't leave the impression that he had been a victim,” added Mrs Partner.

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The story seems to have mushroomed, not because of any specific verbal attack launched at Roeder last Saturday, but rather because of the general trend of managers criticising their treatment at the hands of opposing fans.

Canaries boss Roeder is certainly becoming increasingly upset by the verbal abuse that managers are having to endure, week-in, week-out.

And he did insist that he had experienced the same problems at Layer Road.

Roeder blasted: “It's terrible. I had it again at Colchester on Saturday. They're real saddoes - low lives.

“Fortunately I don't have to live my life through people like that. I keep reminding myself that those saddoes pay my wages. Harry Redknapp said it was filth. Animals don't behave like that.”

These revelations came after Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp complained of the “filth” directed at him by Aston Villa supporters during his side's 3-1 win at Villa Park earlier in the month.

The real low point for Roeder was just over a year ago when, as manager of Newcastle United, he returned to his former club West Ham for a Premiership match.

The welcome turned sour when Hammers fans chanted such shocking slogans as: “Tumour boy” and “Why are you still alive?”

These chants referred to when Roeder collapsed with a benign brain tumour in 2003, during his time as West Ham boss. The growth was removed and Roeder has made a full recovery.

Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press newspaper, he revealed: “I've told myself that it's a good thing I'm still here to hear it. There's an element attracted to football that are no more than sick-minded people.

“For two hours every Saturday afternoon, at least the local police know where the saddoes are.

“It's not hurtful because I've got no respect for these people. They are sick. Most of them have children, some have grandchildren. They stand there with contorted faces and their children see it.

“It's a disease, a societal disease. It happens wherever you are,” added Roeder.

There is no suggestion that Colchester fans were chanting such obscenities during last weekend's East Anglian derby, which left both teams still stuck in the bottom four.

And as U's Chief Executive Mrs Partner told the EADT last night:

“Layer Road is such a compact ground that you can hear exactly what two or three fans are shouting, from a crowd of about 5,000, when you couldn't possibly hear them in a bigger stadium with a 20,000-plus crowd.

“I'm disappointed if Glenn (Roeder) has gone away with the wrong impression. At the end of a game, everyone is fighting in a small area (beside the dug-outs) to get autographs and speak to the players.

“Everything happens very close together, and all the sounds are heightened.”

Meanwhile, the U's are preparing for another big game this Saturday, when they travel to fellow relegation strugglers QPR.