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Everton FC defender John Heitinga says he ignores criticism to stay strong
Published : 20 Mar 2013 08:00:00
Johnny Heitinga insists his self-belief has not been dented during a difficult period in his Everton FC career.
The Dutch defender produced a vastly-improved performance during Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City, and spoke afterwards about his desire to help Everton qualify for Europe.
Heitinga, 29, had previously taken to Twitter in recent weeks to publicly acknowledge his individual errors, and apologise to supporters.
Although he has not taken the criticism he subsequently received to heart, the former Ajax and Athletico Madrid centre-back fears that over-the-top attacks on players could lead to a future when they are reluctant to engage with fans over the social networking site. He said: “I don't really care what people say.
I'm on Twitter because I want to show a little bit of myself to the supporters. I hope to get respect when I put something on Twitter, and see people react positively.
“If the response is only negative, then the time will come when no-one is on Twitter any more. The gap between the fans will become bigger.
“At the moment, the gap can become smaller because you can respond to supporters' questions and speak to them. “I can understand the fans were frustrated (after Wigan) but they must realise that the players were frustrated too.”