Fans entitled to voice frustrations as long as it doesn’t cross over into abuse - Sue Smith

Barnsley were booed off at full-time at Oakwell on Wednesday with some fans chanting for coach Markus Schopp to be sacked.

I am not one who would tell fans not to boo, but I think if you can hold your frustrations in until the right time, it can help.

As supporters, you want people to know when you are not happy and when I was younger I would do it at times when I was on the terraces, like when the names of the opposition players were read out, but I would never boo my own team.

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So long as people do not overstep the mark into abuse, though, I do not have a big problem with it. Sometimes as a fan you probably think what else is there you can do?

TOUGH NIGHT: Barnsley manager Markus Schopp shows his dismay as he team lose 3-1 to Nottingham Forest, with some fans calling for his dismissal during a difficult evening at Oakwell Picture: Tony Johnson

Nowadays, though, I look at it from a player’s perspective.

When Leicester City fans booed James Maddison coming on for Ademola Lookman at the weekend, I think it was much more about who was coming off than Maddison coming on, but I would understand if Maddison struggled a bit to focus on his game after that. Part of you would be thinking, ‘They’re not booing me, are they?’ It must be really tough when you know they are.

At West Bromwich Albion there seems to be a lot of unhappiness among the fans over Valerien Ismael’s style of play, even though they are going well in the Championship. As I wrote in this column last season, I quite like it.

If I was going to a game and I was not happy with how my team was playing, and thought there was no way we were going to get back into it, I would rather leave early than stay just to boo them. By all accounts that was what quite a lot of Barnsley fans did on Wednesday.

GRIM VIEWING: Young Barnsley fans show their despair at their team's second-half performance against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday. Picture: Tony Johnson

Because of the success of last season, when they got used to competing for the play-offs, you can see why their winless start has been so frustrating for them.

But if people are going to boo, I would rather they did it at the end because I do not think it helps the team, especially if there is any chance of them coming back. Again, that was the approach a lot took after the 3-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Booing is bound to affect players. Most of what I experienced as a player was away from home and you get used to that – it is what opposition fans do – but it hurts when it is the people supposed to be pushing you forward. Those environments are not nice to play in.

Some players and managers are able to flip it around. When the Newcastle United fans started chanting for Steve Bruce to be sacked during the recent game against Leeds it seemed to galvanise their team. I think they key thing was when Allan Saint-Maximin got on the ball they started focusing on what he could do and that positivity helped them to a draw.

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes tweeted an apology to fans for missing a penalty. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

At the weekend two strikers from Sheffield, Jamie Vardy and Billy Sharp, fed off the stick the fans were giving them and gave a bit back when they scored.

It was refreshing to see Sharp talk about how pleased he was to score his 89th-minute penalty because he does not like the Derby fans, who were giving him constant and unacceptable abuse. There was no way he was going to miss his spot kick and the honesty was great.

A lot of players get to that level because they have that mentality but some will go into their shell.

Also at the weekend Bruno Fernandes wrote a long tweet apologising for missing a last-minute penalty for Manchester United.

I heard Charlie Austin saying on the radio he would never apologise for something like that, only for injuring an opponent, and then in private. The reaction from people ringing in really depended on their age with younger supporters saying players had to do it to show they cared but older ones disagreeing.

I have apologised in the dressing room for mistakes I made in games before, like at Tranmere Rovers when I came back to help at a late corner and scored an own goal winner for Charlton Athletic, and maybe if you play for a club with a following the size of Manchester United’s it makes sense to say sorry to them but I do not think anyone should feel they have to.

How far does it go? Missing an open goal? A tackle? A keeper letting one through their legs? A bad pass? If you apologised every game you made a mistake in, you would never stop.