Paul Heckingbottom has jumped to the defence of Barnsley’s under-fire midfielder Brad Potts.
The former Blackpool player was heckled by sections of the Oakwell crowd in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with QPR, before sarcastic applause greeted his 80th-minute substitution.
Heckingbottom was unhappy with supporters’ treatment of the 23-year-old, and revealed Potts did well to play despite carrying an ankle injury.
He said: “Brad Potts still has a heavily swollen ankle, which he did great to play with.
“That’s why I am disappointed with the reaction of the fans when he came off.
We can’t be having that here, we have a team of players who work their socks off for the team.
“Everyone has got to understand, the lad’s not missed minutes, not missed training. His ankle has swollen up like a balloon, but wants to train, wants to play.
“He got a dead leg early in the game, and ran himself into the ground. Going into the last 10 minutes of his game, he had gone, so we had to bring him off for that reason.
“Everyone needs to understand and appreciate that, and back every player on the pitch. Players are giving absolutely everything.”
The Reds failed to hang onto Harvey Barnes’s first-half strike, Luke Freeman snatching a late equaliser on Tuesday night.
Heckingbottom has had to rebuild the Barnsley team, after losing the majority of last season’s side.
And he urged fans to keep faith in his new-look side, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Millwall.
He said: “The majority of our fans understand how hard we have worked to get to a certain position, then jumping backwards, and having to start again.
“No-one is as frustrated as me about that.”
Defender Dimitri Cavare has suffered an injury setback with a hamstring tear, which will rule him out “for the foreseeable future”.
The 22-year-old Frenchman is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Tykes since switching from Rennes in the summer.
“It’s going to be a while, it’s another grade two tear,” said Heckingbottom. “He will be out for the foreseeable future.”