When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Keeper Artur Boruc says he threw bottle at fans because of racial abuse
ARTUR Boruc has revealed why he threw a water bottle towards Saints fans – alleging he was subjected to “racist” insults from the stands.
The Polish keeper was involved in the controversial incident during his home debut last October, as Saints lost 2-1 against Tottenham Hotspur.
Boruc chucked a plastic bottle towards home supporters in the Chapel Stand after conceding the second goal.
He was subsequently dropped from first-team contention while the club conducted an investigation, before being cleared to return to action a few weeks later.
Speaking about the incident while on international duty, Boruc claimed he had reacted to taunts from the crowd.
“I blamed myself for it because I gave Adkins the reason that he could sit me on the bench,” he told the Polish media.
“I won’t say I regret it, because I heard insults from the stands. Racist ones.”
Boruc has now established himself as the club’s number one keeper, having joined as a free agent last September.
There is no suggestion from him that the comments he says were aimed at him came from more than a small minority.
There certainly appears to plenty of mutual respect between the keeper and the fans as a whole, as was evident following his penalty save in the 0-0 draw at Norwich earlier this month.
It has taken him some time to emerge as the first choice, however.
After waiting a month for his debut, he lost his place following the incident against Spurs, which occurred during his second game for the club, and did not play again until January.
Boruc revealed that then-manager Nigel Adkins had not initially seen him as part of his plans.
“One must remember I joined them when not ready, so I had to catch up with the rest,” he said.
“The situation was a bit funny.
“Adkins didn’t see me in the team, but his bosses decided to hire a new goalie because the team played poorly.
“I was thinking I’d get ready quickly, but I had to come to terms with a different role. The coach had his vision and I was a bit angry.
“The games I played I didn’t do too well, and there was the incident with the bottle.
“But I like such challenges, and feel good when I hit the bottom, because you can start from scratch.”
Boruc is out of contract in the summer and has said he is leaving negotiations over a new deal to his agent.
He has the support of Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino, who said last weekend that he would be “really pleased” if the 33-year-old stayed at the club.
Boruc could start for Poland tonight, as they host Ukraine in a World Cup qualifier (7.45pm kick-off UK time).
The Saints stopper has been brought back into the international fold by manager Waldemar Fornalik, after being frozen out by the previous boss, Franciszek Smuda.
Boruc was called up earlier this year and started the 2-0 friendly defeat away to Ireland in February.
Poland are third in Group H, three points behind England, but with a game in hand.
After facing second-bottom Ukraine tonight, they will host basement side San Marino on Tuesday.
The Daily Echo contacted Saints for a comment on Boruc’s interview, but they had not replied at the time of going to press.