RORY PATTERSON has hit out at a minority section of the travelling Derry City supporters at Hunky Dorys Park on Friday night having been the victim of a barrage of abuse at the final whistle.
The 27 year-old Strabane man was involved in a heated exchange with several City fans as he walked from the pitch towards the changing rooms following the disappointing 2-0 defeat against the ‘Boynesiders’.
And while the Derry striker - who has netted twice in just four league starts already this season - claimed the abuse directed at him would have little affect on him personally, he questioned the motives of those travelling supporters who were responsible for the verbal volley.
Patterson acknowledged the fact that the abuse came from a small section of the travelling support and insisted that 99 per cent of the Derry fans at the Drogheda venue were genuine supporters and were not involved in the unsavoury scenes at the end of the game.
“I wouldn’t class those people as supporters,” said Patterson last night. “If those people are travelling up and down the country saying they’re supporting their team well, I don’t think that kind of reaction can be classed as supporting the team.
“I’ve had that sort of abuse before and I’m sure I’ll get it again,” he added. “However, it’s water off a duck’s back to me. It’s just the younger boys probably would’ve took it more to heart but that’s fans for you.
“We had a good support down there and probably 99 per cent of them were supporting the team but you get that minority of fans wherever you go.
“Nobody wants to hear abuse from your own supporters. It’s not helpful but in my experience you have to be able to take the criticism.
“I don’t get too caught up whenever people are saying good things about me and I don’t get too down-hearted when people are having a pop at me.
“If that’s what they want to spend their money on, to watch the team and give people abuse then that’s up to them but it’s disappointing, because if it was one of the younger boys they were having a go at then, that could make them sink.
“But I’m 27 now and I’ve been through a lot in football so I don’t get overly caught up with any praise or whenever people are having a go at me.
“We were all disappointed with the result and it was a quiet journey home,” continued the Derry striker. “Obviously we don’t like to travel down to Drogheda and come back with nothing so I can understand the fans’ frustration, but it’s not as if we’re happy to travel up and down the country happy to get beat. That’s not what we want to achieve.
“This was obviously a set-back but we’re only four points off the top and sitting fourth so we just need to get a few wins under our belt again.
“That’s the way fans react, I suppose. We have a few good results and everyone’s flying high and one defeat and it’s all doom and gloom but we know ourselves what we have to do to pull ourselves back.”
Bedded in nicely
The former Linfield and Plymouth Argyle striker has bedded in nicely at the Brandywell since his arrival at the start of the season but he rates Friday’s team performance as the worst he’s experienced in a Derry shirt so far.
“We have a good bunch of lads at the club and everyone is pulling together in the right direction,” he said. “Obviously we want to win every match but we’re going to drop points along the way.
“We have to keep mistakes to a minimum and start grinding out results and even nicking a 1-0 win here and there.”
Patterson was presented with a gilt-edged chance to salvage a share of the spoils against Mick Cooke’s men in the dying moments of the match but was unable to connect properly to Mark Farren’s cross.
However, the striker had no complaints about the final result, claiming that the team simply weren’t good enough on the night.
“They were the better team on the night but I don’t think it was any kind of catastrophe,” he added. “Games like that happen. You can’t turn up with one or two players playing well and expect to win and I don’t think anybody really played well.
“We know what we did wrong and it’s good to get these things off your chest. We know we were nowhere near what is acceptable to go down and win the game.
“Drogheda have proved they are a good team going forward but we had their weaknesses picked out and on the night we just weren’t able to exploit them and they deserved the points.
“We had a plan of what we were going to do but we just didn’t execute it. I had a good chance to bring us back into the game at the end but it was just a bit behind me and I couldn’t quite get my foot around it but these things happen.”
And with the games arriving thick and fast over the next week with UCD in the league on Friday followed quickly by the EA Sports Cup second round clash with Finn Harps on Monday, Patterson is eager to get back to winning ways.
“We know what we have to do to get the results we want. We have two home games now on the bounce. One’s a cup game so we’ll be hoping to get three points against UCD and hoping to get into the next round of the cup.
“We were back training on Sunday again and it’s a quick turnaround in games, so as a player that’s exactly what you want. “There’s nothing worse after a defeat when you have to wait ages for another game to put things right so we’ll get in this week, put our heads down and get three points on Friday night,” he concluded.