Hyam: Brentford Reception a New Experience
Monday, 9th Apr 2018 15:41
Luke Hyam was not surprised to be singled out for flak from sections of the home crowd as Town suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at Brentford on Saturday.
The midfielder had a hunch he would be on the receiving end of abuse from fans for his part in the incident that saw Bees’ schemer Alan Judge stretchered off at Portman Road two years ago with a double leg fracture.
Republic of Ireland international Judge – he has been dubbed the Irish Messi by supporters – only made his senior comeback in January this year and it came as no shock to Hyam that some people in the Griffin Park crowd at the weekend singled him out for and booed his every touch.
Hyam said: “There was nothing out of the ordinary from the Brentford players; it was all from the stands to be honest.
“I messaged Alan after it all happened and I wanted to speak to him after the game on Saturday. But he got subbed off and I just wanted to keep my head down and get on with the football.
“Unfortunately, after the game I didn’t get a chance to say anything to him, but it’s brilliant to see him back playing again.
“I know what it’s like to be out for a long time and I wouldn’t wish it on any professional footballer. It’s a horrible situation – I’m speaking from experience – and I know exactly how he must have been feeling.
“The reception they gave me was a new experience, to say the least, but I was kind of expecting it at the same time.
“I was bracing myself for it and I just made sure I kept my head down and got on with doing my job. There’s nothing you can do about a situation like that, except to get on with it and play football.
“I was getting a bit of abuse from the touchline every time I was near the crowd but there was no point in me reacting in any way.
“There was nothing else for it but to try to shut it out and get on with the game.
“Being in the starting line-up, I saw it as the manager showing he had faith in me to handle the flak from the home crowd.
“The manager’s been great with me throughout his time here. Even when I’ve been injured he’s been superb.
“It’s good to know that he feels he can trust me in situations like that. It was a new experience but I’ll take the positives from it.
“It’s been great in recent weeks to be fit and available to play. There are a lot of tough times when you are injured and it’s getting back out there on the pitch that makes all the time that I spent on my recovery worthwhile. It’s been really pleasing for me.
“I spoke to the manager in January and he said he was going to give me game time between then and the end of the season.
“He’s kept to his word but I’ve been in and out of the team a little bit. I might have handled it differently when I was younger but I’ve been through a lot in the last couple of years and I like to think I’ve matured in that time. Older and wiser, I suppose.”
Of course, when it comes to being a target for abuse no one has been on the receiving end more than Town boss Mick McCarthy, except that he has been getting it from some Town supporters whose patience has snapped because of a lack of entertainment at Portman Road.
Hyam added: “I completely understand that fans want to be entertained. We’re not going to get promoted and we’re not going to be relegated so I understand why they might expect some entertainment in the last few games.
“They got it against Millwall in our last home game on Easter Monday. They got value for their money that day. I came on for the last 15 minutes and I could hardly catch my breath because it was so end to end.
“Hopefully we will put on a good performance tomorrow night against Barnsley.
“You can hear the chants aimed at the manager during the games and it’s not nice.
“But we can only get on with the job in hand and play our football. We all have a tremendous amount of respect for Mick and he is hugely respected throughout the world of football.
“It’s not nice for anyone to be treated like that and as players we don’t like to see the manager in that position.
“It shouldn’t be happening and he should be respected for what he’s done for the club in his time as manager.
“They are entitled to their opinions but I think it would be nice if they gave him a good send-off after the last game.”
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