Sunderland manager Michael Beale has demanded “more respect” from fans after claiming some want him out of the club because of his cockney accent. Beale is already under huge pressure at the Stadium of Light, having lost four of his seven matches in charge after taking over from Tony Mowbray.
Supporters have already staged protests during his six weeks in charge but Beale, who was sacked by Rangers earlier this season, has now hit back. He’s asked fans to stop “throwing negativity” at his reign, and accused them of taking umbrage with his upbringing in South London.
In an apparent dig at Mowbray, and those who continue to contest his dismissal, he said: “I didn’t sack him, did I? They won two in nine before he left so are we making out it was perfect?
“I can’t change my accent or where I am from, you know what I mean, I am proud of where I am from. I haven’t worked in London for ten years, but obviously I am from South London. Six years in Liverpool, four and a half in Glasgow, a year in Brazil. My accent hasn’t changed.”
The 1-0 home defeat to Hull last Friday signified a third consecutive league and cup defeat for the Black Cats, and Beale did concede he was prepared to take criticism over poor performances. However, he also defended his record, with his side still in play-off contention.
“I am happy to be criticised if we can’t score goals or repeatedly make mistakes, but that one is a bit off,” he added. “So if it is about football, fine. But I feel I deserve a bit more respect because of my journey, which deserves that.
“I think you are throwing negativity at the the youngest team in the league, with one of the lowest budgets in the league.I inherited a team two points out of the play-offs. Now it is three. We have lost two tough games and I don’t think the performances were terrible. Anyone saying they are, I can’t get on board with that.”
Beale, who was manager at QPR before controversially leaving for Scotland, was lauded by owner Kyril Louis Dreyfus after he appointed him in December. Citing his ability to work with young players and within budget constraints, Dreyfus puched back at criticism over his decision to fire Mowbray.
And the 43-year-old himself has insisted the background noise won’t affect his focus. “You get on with the work,” he said. “I am not crying over it. I am a big boy. Personal things, when it goes personal they have lost straight away. If people want to criticise the way the team is playing I will take that.”