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Non-league: Poole captain Cann vows to rise above critics
The 27-year-old striker, appointed captain following the departure of Michael Walker to Weymouth over the summer, was dismissed during Dolphins’ 2-0 FA Cup success over Hungerford Town.
Despite passing 200 appearances for the Dorset outfit recently, Cann’s struggle to engender support from certain sections of the Tatnam faithful continued against the Crusaders, culminating in some of the home support joining the visitors’ protestations for a second yellow card.
The lion’s share of Poole supporters took to Twitter and the club’s fans’ forum to back their bullish forward, but the focal point of Tom Killick’s attack admitted he had been “demoralised” by the “unacceptable” comments.
However, Poole-raised Cann, who played for Dolphins’ youth teams for a number of years prior to his pair of stints with the first team, insisted he would solider on despite being singled out.
In an emotive address, Cann exclusively told the Daily Echo: “I have always been a thick-skinned person who could take criticism and I realise I am not everyone’s cup of tea.
“But when I heard our own supporters telling the referee to send me off, I was quite demoralised to be honest, which was a point I never thought I would get to (at Poole). It has made life difficult, but I am strong enough to deal with it.
“I looked straight at two or three people who were giving me loads of abuse and said to the referee ‘send him off’, which was unacceptable.
“Thankfully, it is just two or three individuals around the club who behave like that. Everyone else gets fully behind me and the team – the fans at Poole are fantastic.
“I would not leave the club over a small number of fans who don’t really like me. Don’t get me wrong, I have questioned it, but I have got really good people around me who back me all the way which is the most important thing.”
Cann, who claimed he had made “no contact” with his opponent in the build up to his second booking, said he could not put his finger on why he bears the brunt of fans’ frustrations before turning his attention to Poole’s success.
He added: “I don’t know whether people have this perception of me being a rash character but nothing could be further from the truth.
“Part of my role involves being quite physical at times, and maybe I should think about things a little more because putting yourself about on the pitch doesn’t go down well with some referees.
“I don’t know whether things have changed since I was made captain, whether the pressure is telling a little bit, I’m not sure.
“But the emphasis for me is how the club has kept doing so well and the performance against Hungerford was unreal considering the situation. We made them look an average side, even with 10 players.
“Despite the challenges over the past few weeks, the squad has stuck together and we will be fine.”
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