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Bruce calls for fan support
12 Feb 2007 - 10:59:44
Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce criticised the club's fans following their negative reaction to a second-half substitution during Sunday's 1-0 victory over Stoke City.
The Blues moved up to second in the Championship table on the back of the win, but Bruce was annoyed that his decision to send on Sebastian Larsson in place of Stephen Clemence caused unrest on the St Andrew's terraces.
Bruce, who himself criticised the City board following the decision to sell Matthew Upson to West Ham United in the transfer window, has now called for the fans to back his promotion-chasing club despite the recent turmoil.
"I've been here five-and-half years and the reaction of the crowd was not very good. I feel I deserve a bit more respect," he said.
"We have no divine right to be second in the table but what am I supposed to do, hold up a big placard saying 'Stephen Clemence has taken a knock'?
"I have to take it on the chin, but there is a frustration in the club over what has happened over the last few weeks and the manager bears the brunt.
"We have to develop a siege mentality but it is not easy. We are now second in the table with two games in hand and everyone else would be dancing, but here there is an air of doom and gloom around the place.
"This is incredible when you consider that there were three 18 year-olds in the side."