Jack Lester says Chesterfield supporters are only considering protests about the club’s current situation because they care.
The manager admits he wants his side to enjoy the backing of the Proact crowd, but also acknowledges that’s a privilege earned, not a right.
Town sit second bottom of the Football League and after anti-board chants at the Carlisle game last weekend, supporters have been debating the possibility of staging a protest before tomorrow’s home game against Swindon.
“It’s understandable,” said Lester.
“It’s just people who care about the club.
“As a fan you’re a bit helpless at times, you come and support your team, you can’t go and play.
“You put your hopes with players and managers and clubs. That will never change.
“I don’t think fans are doing anything to the detriment of the club, I think they’re doing it because they care.
“They’re passionate and they want the club to move forward.
“Obviously we want backing on the football pitch and that’s important, but you can’t underestimate and devalue the passion people have for the football club.”
For Lester, unrest in the fanbase is not a problem because it shows supporters have the club’s best interests at heart.
And he insists it’s not a distraction for players.
“The unrest is from passion of fans wanting to win football matches, worried about the future of the club.
“It’s not a problem, it just means people care.
“Everyone channels it in different ways.
“We all want the same thing, to win football matches.
“No one is trying to trip us up.
“Fans showing that passion is fantastic.
“We’d obviously like it channeled in but let’s not underestimate or devalue that passion.
“Once the whistle goes as a player you’re not looking if a protest is happening, you’re trying to score a goal or keep one out of the net.”
The Chesterfield boss says there’s only one way for his squad to earn the support of those in the stands tomorrow and in any game.
“The way you get the fans on side is winning football matches.
“There’s loads of excuses why we’ve been on a bad run but it’s down to us.
“When the fans see 100 per cent effort that’s enough. You can’t have a bad game if you’ve given everything you’ve got.
“I think it’s right through football.
“If you’ve got a player who gives absolutely everything to get a result you’re happy.
“That’s got to be the bare minimum tomorrow, giving absolutely everything, and I think results will follow.
“We’re in a difficult situation and if you care about the club you’re not going to go home and not be bothered. It’s natural.
“We can’t expect them to come and be completely behind us when they don’t see what they want to see.
“You get what you deserve from football fans. If we give absolutely everything tomorrow then we’ll deserve to be backed, if we don’t then we don’t.”