Paul Heckingbottom column:

I agree fans should have their say because they’ve paid a lot of money to watch the game.

But do you really think Ashley Cole is going to play any better for England if he’s getting booed? I can’t see it.

Unfortunately this sort of thing seems to be creeping in at every club and every level and maybe even more so lower down. Some players are at the bottom for a reason because they’re not strong-minded or strong-willed enough and if people are booing them and getting on their backs, they will go under.

The first time I really noticed it as a player was just after we got promoted to the Championship with Barnsley.

We’d had a great second half of the season to go up through the play-offs and then made a decent start, holding our own after half-a-dozen games.

But then we went on a bad run, slipping into the bottom half, and suddenly the same fans who’d been saying how well we’d done to get up on a shoestring were slagging us off.

Our top earner was probably on £1,600 a week and we were playing Birmingham who had players on £40,000. And we were getting booed because we were losing 2-0 at St Andrews.

I was out there thinking ‘are these fans for real?’ They really let themselves down.

Fans will always have their favourite players and the ones who can’t do anything right. I remember going to Barnsley as a season-ticket holder, aged nine or ten, with my grandad and fellas near us would be shouting this and that at the same players. I used to wonder why they never clapped or cheered.

It’s always been there but now the abuse is becoming more prominent.

Frank Lampard had it with England as well, which is disgraceful. But I think some fans will dislike a player just because they play for a certain club.

It was good to see that quite a few at Wembley were clapping Ashley Cole towards the end of the game to show they disagreed with what was going on.

Hopefully it might put some people off in the future and I’d like to think a lot more fans will give him backing.