DAN Haystead says he deserves every bit of stick he’s received from the Boston United fans this season... but he has vowed to make the supporters love him.
The Pilgrims keeper returned to York Street in the summer, and has had mixed fortunes during his second spell.
Although he has kept five clean sheets this season, the number one has also been at fault for a few goals conceded, most memorably during the away defeat at Oxford City.
However, Haystead says he does not blame the supporters for getting on his back.
At his most candid, he told The Standard: “The fans have given me a hard time.
“But to be fair, I’ve expected it.
“I’ve been awful for them and I expect stick.”
Expectations were high when Haystead returned from Hinckley during pre-season.
He kept seven clean sheets from 15 matches during his previous spell at York Street.
That year United reached the Blue Square Bet North play-off semi-finals.
But a bizarre injury saw him lose his place to Paul Bastock.
Haystead slipped on a dog toy at home and damaging his ankle ligaments.
Despite attempting to play through the pain barrier, he lost his place to Bastock as United were beaten by Guiseley on penalties.
But after Bastock’s release, Haystead knew he would have to be on top form to replace the fans’ favourite.
And now the stopper believes the only way he can do so is by putting in match-winning performances each week.
He added: “Hopefully, I can get them back on side.
“I need to play my best game every week for that to happen. I know that much.
“It sounds like pressure, but that’s what I need.
“That’s why I came to a big club like this.”
Haystead admits things have started slowly for United this season, but he is adamant the best is yet to come.
He believes he can be part of a formidable defensive trio, with Nathan Stainfield and Tom Ward offering good protection in front of him.
He said: “We’re learning. Wardy and Stanno want to listen to me - they want to work and they want to work hard.
“It’s a brilliant attitude to have.
“We will concede goals, but we’ll improve with every game.
“We go game by game. Every game is one we go out to win.
“That’s how things are at Boston – we have to expect to win games.”