IAN Evatt has urged Seasiders fans not to turn against the players and to show total support in the club’s bid for survival.
The Pool centre-back, who has helped lead the club from the bottom of League One to the Premier League inside five years, heard booing during Saturday’s home defeat by Wigan.
He acknowledges the performance against Latics wasn’t good and apologises for that.
But Evatt says that if the crowd turns nasty in the final five games, starting with Newcastle this Saturday, Pool will have no chance of beating the drop.
He said: “The home games are massive and we need to make this place a fortress again, like it was last season when the atmosphere was incredible.
“Back then the fans didn’t expect too much but we gave them something to shout about. I have just got the feeling in the last couple of games that the atmosphere is starting to turn.
“The fans are feeling the pressure and we’re feeling the pressure, and it is not really helping either of us.
“It was only a small section booing on Saturday but it doesn’t help the players, and this group of players has done so much for this football club.
“I just pray that everyone keeps behind us and sings their hearts out because we will do our best – we know nothing else.
“We will try 110 per cent and hopefully that will get us the right result. But it’s a two-way thing – we need the fans as much as they need us.”
Reflecting on the 3-1 setback against Wigan, the 29-year-old added: “We are man enough to hold our hands up and say the performance was not good enough.
“I know this sounds silly but maybe we are trying too hard and are thinking about it too much.
“We wanted to win so badly that it just put unnecessary pressure on us and restricted our confidence levels. We didn’t do the things we normally do. “The week before the game had gone really well. We were bang up for it – the most we have been up for a game in a long time, I’d say.
“We were really vocal in the changing room but to concede a goal like that after two minutes just affected us so much. It shouldn’t have really but it did.
“It was a poor, poor performance and there are no excuses. It was certainly the worst this season and probably the worst for a few years.
“I can do nothing but apologise and reassure the fans we are doing our best, and hopefully we will put it right against Newcastle.”
The Seasiders have slipped into the bottom three for the first time all season and have the worst goal difference in the division, but they are only a point and a place from safety.
Evatt added: “Of course results haven’t been good lately but we are playing against Premier League opposition and it is tough,” said Evatt.
“The boys have done wonders to be where they are and I can guarantee every fan we will fight tooth and nail to stay in this league.
“But we need them to be completely behind us and create an atmosphere that teams can’t live with.
“When we have that atmosphere we are so hard to play against because the boys respond to the fans. That’s what we need.
“We will do the business so long as the fans keep behind us and sing their hearts out for us.”
Saturday’s clash with Newcastle is a sell out.