Time to stand together!

Derry City manager Peter Hutton has urged supporters to get behind his team.
Derry City manager Peter Hutton has urged supporters to get behind his team.

PETER HUTTON has appealed to disgruntled Derry City supporters to get behind his struggling team during ‘tricky times’ as they prepare for a crunch relegation battle against bottom of the table Limerick tonight (k.o. 7.45 p.m.).

Responding to mounting criticism levelled at both the team and management on social media and on the terraces, Hutton claimed now wasn’t the time for dissent and urged fans to come out in force and show encouragement to the club in its hour of need.

The Derry boss admitted he would have walked away from the job if the criticism threatened to affect his young family.

While he acknowledged that the club’s form has been worrying of late as they lie in the relegation play-off place, he was confident this current crop of players can turn things around.

Attendances have dropped significantly this season and Hutton has pleaded with supporters to come out in numbers to Brandywell tonight to help drive the players to victory in their biggest game of the season.

“It (the criticism) works against the players,” said Hutton. “If anything, at the moment, the players need confidence.

It works against the players. If anything, at the moment, the players need confidence. Supporters can give them that confidence instead of having a pop at the player or team or me or whoever.

Peter Hutton

“Supporters can give them that confidence instead of having a pop at the players or team or me or whoever.

“It’s about sticking together and seeing it through and they will learn from this experience.

“On a personal level, you don’t come into this job blindly. You know what you’re coming into,” he continued. “I had the role on a caretaker capacity on one or two occasions in difficult circumstances but you have to get on with it.

Sack Inevitable

“One of the guarantees when you take a job in football management is that you will inevitably get the sack at some point. But hopefully that’s not for a long time yet!

“Personal criticism is water off a duck’s back for me,” he added. “The vast majority of people who are having a dig or criticising don’t know me, and I don’t know them.

“I take no heed to it at all but if it does start affecting your young family then certainly it goes over the line.

“But we need the supporters. They can be that 12th man by supporting the players and really getting behind them.

“That’s what supporters do - they support the team through good times and bad times. They’ll see it through and if ever you need good support it’s now - when times are tricky.

“So hopeful they do come out in their numbers to support this young group.”