independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Heitinga won't shy away from criticism

John Heitinga has struggled to perform for Everton this season

Everton defender John Heitinga insists he is not affected by fans' criticism and remains committed to engaging with them despite the abuse which has been dished out to him this season.

The Holland international, back in the side as a result of Phil Jagielka's injury, has borne the brunt of supporters' anger after some poor performances. Last month Heitinga took the criticism on the chin when he was deemed to be at fault for all three goals in the 3-3 draw at home to Aston Villa, accepting his bad performance with an admission on Twitter.

That display, in which he was taken off after 65 minutes, and admission prompted huge criticism but the 29-year-old insisted it does not affect him. "I don't really care what people say," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"I'm on Twitter because I want to show a little bit of myself to the supporters.

"I hope to get respect when I put something on Twitter and see people react positively.

"If the response is only negative then the time will come when no-one is on Twitter any more.

"The gap between the fans will become bigger.

"At the moment the gap can become smaller because you can respond to supporters' questions and speak to them."

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