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Southampton Midfielder Shocked By Fans Booing At St Mary's
Monday, 9th Oct 2023 12:45

Saints supporters were disappointed with their team conceding an equaliser on Saturday against Rotherham, but one man in the Southampton team shocked by the reaction in the stands at the final whistle.

On loan midfielder Flynn Downes was not a happy man after the draw against Rotherham on Saturday as revealed at

"After a performance like that, I know we should have won but we shouldn’t be getting booed off after a game again. That to me is mental.

“I get everyone wants to win, and we’re the same, but the performance and the way we played – it was weird. I get it, I’m a fan. When I used to go and my team didn’t win, of course, you boo.

“But when you are playing the way we are playing and dominate a game like that, okay we conceded a goal we shouldn’t have. In the crowd, I’m seeing fans giving it all this and booing.

“I’m not going to say too much because we need their support. When we are playing at home, we are playing a style that no one else wants to play – all the players need the confidence.

“We need the boost from the fans, so to get booed at the end is mental, absolutely mental.”

So does Downes have a point ? He himself is clearly frustrated, after all the team had won the previous two games and turned a corner, whilst the result was disappointing, it was still 7 points from the last 3 outings and had supporters been told as they entered St Mary's before the Leeds united game that this would be the start of 3 games where 7 points would be picked up, not many would have been complaining.

Clearly Flynn Downes was upset on Saturday and possibly because he is not a permanent member of the Saints squad, he felt able to speak out at what he had witnessed, perhaps something that those who are not on loan would not be able to do.

Speaking to someone at the game on Saturday who was a neutral, they certainly could not see why a team should have been booed off after drawing a game they dominated and they agreed with Downes on this point.

This was not a 4th straight defeat, it was the 3rd game of an unbeaten run which has seen us back on track for the top six.

Personally I think Downes did have a point, the team did not play badly, on another day this could have been a comfortable victory and this is perhaps why the fans were so frustrated, they expected it to be just that.

Perhaps his last couple of paragraphs are the most important, the players are rebuilding a fragile confidence shook after the defeats to Sunderland & Leicester, they need the support of the fans not boos ringing in their ears.

No one would be arguing with the booing if we had just lost 2-0 with barely a shot on goal, but as Downes said, this was not a poor performance per se, just key moments in front of goal at both ends didn't go our way.

This season could head in two directions at the moment and perhaps the fans will play a part in either way, they can get behind the team as in fairness most of them did throughout the entire game and hopefully spur us onwards and upwards or we can watch the team get dragged down.

This is not me saying this, but one of the players who is shocked that a team in the promotion race is being booed off, he called it mental and for a player and indeed supporter of West Ham United to say that, the Hammers being a team that has not been unfamiliar with fan unrest over the past few years, that is saying something.

Of course I am not saying that supporters should not be upset to fail to win a game, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but we have to put those opinions in context and concentrate on what the ultimate goal is and that is promotion, if not automatically but by the play offs.

Photo: Action Images

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ItchenNorth added 12:47 - Oct 9
We have a lot of Wally's that's think they know best.

SAINTSNIL added 13:16 - Oct 9
Could it be that fir many of the fans the only time they see them it is when they play at Sy Mary's....then the reason becomes apparent...the absolute scarcity of any wins over the last two years or so...enough to break any sane fans morale.

saintmark1976 added 13:19 - Oct 9
The fans aren’t booing the players as individuals and understand that the players are simply complying with instructions from Russell Martin.

It’s was the second half tedious slow backwards and sideways method of play and the ridiculous unnecessary triple substitution that caused the reaction on Saturday.

The Nathan Jones and Selles experiments were disasters but in their defence we were playing Premiership opposition at the time. The fact that Russell Martin is able to get a negative reaction from the crowd when we play a team with the limited resources of Rotherham speak volumes as to our direction of travel whilst he remains in control.

JGH added 13:21 - Oct 9
He's absolutely spot on. So many so quick to hammer the side which is clearly not productive.

I get everyone pays their hard earned money etc but creating such a negative environment has clearly hindered the side for a while now, that certainly won't change in the championship.

PatfromPoole added 13:29 - Oct 9
I would be sacked if I called my employer's customers "mental".

Bin this gutless pond life off and send him back to West Ham.

Bowlercow added 13:51 - Oct 9
I have seen some pretty awful performances in my time but I have never booked anyone wearing a Saints shirt and nor will I
If you were upset by the team on Saturday when they had 80% of the game then you just as well give up being a supporter of any team in any sport
Good to see a player willing to condem it

WestSussexSaint added 14:32 - Oct 9
I’m wholly behind Flynn Downes on this. Bear in mind he comes from West Ham whose fans are certainly not shy about expressing their views. Clearly being booed after a reasonable performance was a new experience for Downes and not something he had experienced at West Ham.

I also don’t buy the comments about the booing only being directed at the manager. It may well be the case but when the players are walking off the pitch how do they know where the criticism is being directed? Ultimately the negativity breads poor performances and is a self fulfilling prophecy.

I’m a ST holder and I’m getting increasingly frustrated by the prevalence of those in attendance who are criticising the players for not playing the ball forward at every single opportunity. I think there is a real issue that many fans just don’t understand the style of football and how it can work.

I recall in the early days of Ralph Hassenhuttl’s tenure there were a number of pieces from the manager, the club and the wider media covering his philosophy, what he was trying to get the players to do and critically why that would benefit the team.

Maybe if RM and the club (plus the media) could do more to inform the fan base about this style of football being adopted this season the fans would have a greater understanding. Then they could recognise when the team are playing well and just having no luck vs. when the performance is bad and deserving of criticism

SaintNick added 14:40 - Oct 9
Pat actually you wouldnt be sacked, if your customers turned up at your office and started to verbally abuse you, swear at you and called you gutless pond life, you would call the police and probably describe them as mental.

OK football is a bit different

DellBoyWally added 15:31 - Oct 9
Oh good. We dominated, we had 250% possession!! Let's all cheer!!
What bullshit.
We were playing the team with the worst defensive record in the division. Yes, even worse than ours!! But we played pretty football so let's all go home happy.
The whole aim of a football match is to win! Isn't it??
This was the game to clear our negative GD, put on a show for the fans and get closer to the leaders!
So far, in 11 games, we have had one where we attacked and attacked. And for good measure attacked some more. Leeds United, a comfortable and satisfying win.
In every other game, 10 of them, we have struggled, phaffed around with the ball and gone nowhere. OK, we fluked some wins.
But at best, the football is mediocre. Meaning middling! Which is where we'll finish off, mid-table.
Of course the fans booed at the end of the game. It was all the players deserved. And the manager especially.
You don't succeed playing pretty and holding the ball. You win by out-scoring the opposition.
We can't and won't while this manager sticks to his disproved philosophy.
And while columns like this pump out manager's and club's press releases.
Get real!!

YosemiteSaint added 15:58 - Oct 9
I think that it was a matter of everyone just playing out the St. Mary's script these past two years: We play well, we don't convert, we concede late, we boo. Footballers need to sack up; it's part of the job.

kenchilds70 added 16:30 - Oct 9
Players, managers, coaches owners....GROW A PAIR. Fans are fed up with whats being presented to them as entertainment, paying all their wages every week to be served swill. If it were a restautant the food would be returned and a refunded demanded.Unfortunately Sports Republic have spent that. So take the crowds disfavour and improve. A crap meal is a crap meal with whatever saunce you pou on it.

kenchilds70 added 16:30 - Oct 9
Players, managers, coaches owners....GROW A PAIR. Fans are fed up with whats being presented to them as entertainment, paying all their wages every week to be served swill. If it were a restautant the food would be returned and a refunded demanded.Unfortunately Sports Republic have spent that. So take the crowds disfavour and improve. A crap meal is a crap meal with whatever saunce you pou on it.

St_Guido added 16:30 - Oct 9
He's wrong. If we'd played 2nd half like 1st we'd have won the game easily or at least given the fans a spectacle to enjoy & appreciate. As it was the players retreated to their previous tippy tappy, sideways backwards possession at all costs game & it cost us 2 points plus was awful to watch. If he'd had to watch the 90% of utter rubbish our team has served up the last couple of seasons perhaps he'd understand our frustration.

goalie66 added 17:18 - Oct 9
The question is who wre they booing? I do not believe it was the players but Martin for the negative approach second half which was awful

ItchenNorth added 18:53 - Oct 9
To be fair to Flynn Downes, it's only taken him a short few weeks to work out that we have some right Melts in our fanbase.

SaintPaulVW added 19:38 - Oct 9
If it's affecting the players then the fools that boo are doing the opposition's job for them.

Perhaps time for them to calm down a bit. It's a long season so treating every result as if it's a cup game is a bit daft really.

Newdawn2014 added 19:52 - Oct 9
Can I suggest that if its not directed at the players then bring a placard that clearly states that , because otherwise how do the team know ?
And I also object to Flynn Downes terminology , he was probably as hacked off as we all were but still ...

Andylad63 added 01:15 - Oct 10
People on here claiming Flynn Downes should be familiar with fans negative protests need to remember he is only here because he isn't good enough for them. In fact he wasn't good enough for them last year either and albeit with a successful European cup campaign, for a lot of last season not much better than us. Perhaps because he has spent so much time with RM he is a cheer leader who thinks not losing by not trying to win is enough for any fan. Who's sense of ration thinking is truly questionable?

landsdownsaint added 09:13 - Oct 10
I agree with him , theirs a lot of pressure on the lads playing RM’s style of football, one error & we see what happens . SR are asking a lot from the players & the fans

bryanK added 09:21 - Oct 10
So just like the Leeds game we started well but a less than an inspired second half performance. Martin’s subs did not work and we lacked a cutting edge. I mentioned to my fellow season ticket I think Rotherham will score and sure enough they did.
Fans frustration is understandable a group of players highly paid therefore expectation are very high. I love to know what the total cost of the Rotherham team and their respective wages compared to our team. Seeing Leicester doing so well adds to our continued frustration remember Russell Martin we are not MK Dons and Swansea.

Centurion added 09:39 - Oct 10
Booing the players is not the way to encourage the team.
We all need to be patient. I honestly believe people who want instant success are just being impatient.
I am happy to wait 2 or even three seasons for things to gel together.
Look at Ipswich riding high. This hasn't happened over night.

AgrellaSFC added 12:14 - Oct 10
Centurion - You would rather wait 2 or 3 seasons for it to gel? I would rather not be below Bournemouth next season and I couldn't think of anything worse than the risk of losing to Pompey anytime soon which looks very possible if we stay put and they come up. Back to Prem ASAP and then sort it all out . Don't agree with the booing either btw but people are frustrated. Don't see players kicking off with fans leaving 5 minutes early which is just a silent boo in my opinion

IanRC added 12:42 - Oct 10
On a more positive note our ladies, who are top of their Championship, at present have Katie Wilkinson and Sophia Pharoah up for awards, Pharoah in particular has been magnificent. Vote here to show your support


Shame the club has not put up links

kevleykeegle added 14:42 - Oct 10
It’s good to here from positive supporters - there are many saints fans who back what Downes has said and you make some excellent points. Do many of us have unrealistic expectations? Most fans would be happy with 7 from 9 points.

SanMarco added 21:39 - Oct 10
Football treats its lifeblood (supporters) as customers - getting money out of us one way or another is the corporate plan. When things aren't to a customer's liking they complain (which is what a boo is after all). I don't abuse fellow human beings because I think it is an unpleasant thing to do but if fellow customers take a different view I just hope they aren't near me in the ground.

As for the players - they will survive and if they are that thin-skinned then maybe performing live in front of a passionate 30,000 audience is not for them. They can give up their huge salaries and go and work in a bakery or something - little abuse there I would imagine.

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