May 19, 2024

Russell Martin stated that the majority of his interactions with supporters have been “positive” in response to negative attitude following a spate of defeats.

Southampton had been in contention for direct promotion to the Premier League but must now settle for playoff chances following a drop in form.

Martin’s side has won only four of their past ten Championship games and has now lost three in a row.

Following their final home game of the regular season versus Stoke, the club held their end-of-season awards ceremony, which included a lap of appreciation.

However, after losing 1-0 to Tyrese Campbell’s first-half goal, most fans had already left the stadium by the time the squad returned.

“I don’t think I expect everyone to stay in the rain after the last home game of the season,” he remarked. “We’d just lost 1-0.

“It had been a difficult week, so I believe it is only reasonable. By the time we return for the second playoff game, the atmosphere will be fantastic.

“The supporters have made St Mary’s a very difficult place to come. After this week, I’m just as unhappy and frustrated as everyone else.

“I have to accept that disappointment and the expectations of this club.”

Martin believes Leeds United fans will feel the same way Saints fans do when the season comes to a close.

Daniel Farke’s team were blasted 4-0 by relegation-threatened QPR, putting a serious blow in their automatic promotion aspirations.

With Ipswich beating Coventry on Tuesday evening, Leeds will need to win Southampton and hope that all but relegated Huddersfield can defeat the Tractor Boys.

“I was at that game (QPR vs Leeds),” Martin explained. “I really left a little early to beat traffic and avoid being beaten up by some rival fans.

“But I sense their fans felt very similar to ours following the Stoke defeat. When you manage a club like this, you must accept the expectations.

“Everyone I’ve spoken with and the majority of letters I’ve gotten have been good. I’m quite appreciative, and as I have stated, we’re going to need the fans.

“So, whichever you feel, and the previous week has undoubtedly changed people’s perspectives on the season, we have two of the season’s most important games after we face Leeds.

“The journey to Leeds is critical, but after that, we will need everyone. “That includes the supporters.”

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