Marseille captain Andre Ayew conceded ‘it hurts’ to hear the club’s fans boo his team even after they broke through for a win on Friday.
Ayew struck a hat-trick for Marseille as they won 3-1 over visiting Ajaccio at the Stade Velodrome but the performance did not see the south coast club avoid a vicious reception from their fans.
Before the game, insults towards Marseille coach Jose Anigo and president Vincent Labrune were found scrawled all over the club’s training base, while during the contest, the supporters vented their frustration at six-match winless streak that ended against Ajaccio.
Ayew said it was a tough atmosphere to play in but conceded he and his team-mates could not ‘blame’ Marseille’s fans for reacting that way.
“It hurts,” the Ghanaian midfielder said.
“The worst is that you cannot really blame them. Our results were not up to par.”
But while Anigo agreed that Marseille have not been good enough through March, the interim coach was less forgiving of the fans.
“It felt like everything was organised. This is annoying. I do not care who is behind all this, I am simply acting,” the 52-year-old said.
“Football, this is not it. All this hate, what you can see or hear. It’s not that.
“In life, there are hardships, much harder, football does not belong.”
Marseille defender Jeremy Morel agreed that the fans’ reaction on Friday was ‘a little too far’.
“Of course we understand them,” Morel said.
“We are here to do our job but it is not easy. I quite agree with them (the supporters) that our state of mind was often faulty but tonight it was a little too far.
“It will be difficult to return before the public for the next match.”
The win saw Marseille stay sixth in Ligue 1 with 48 points, six adrift of fourth-placed Saint-Etienne, who occupy the UEFA Europa League berth.
With European football still up for grabs for next season, Anigo said his players deserved credit for winning under trying conditions.
“When my players returned from the warm-up, the game had not started but the atmosphere was already damaging,” Anigo said.
“Us, we did our job, I just want to savour the victory and salute the professional job of my players because in this atmosphere there, it is not obvious.
“They have done the job honestly and professionally.”
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