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CARLOS EDWARDS was one of the many Sunderland players not to acknowledge the away fans after Saturday’s defeat at West Brom, but admitted any animosity directed towards the players was more than justified.

The 3,000-strong Wearside support made their feelings on the abject performance and apparent snub clear at the final whistle – and the players had no complaints.

“I walked straight down the tunnel,” admitted Edwards, who was on the bench having been substituted early in the second half.

“If the fans reacted in a negative way they are within their rights. They are paying their money to come and support the team and after a performance like that they have a right to give their opinion.

“If the players got a bit of stick then all they can do is take it.”

Captain Phil Bardsley was one of the few to give the away support a round of applause and he, along with manager Ricky Sbragia, felt they had let the fans down.

Sbragia was convinced a far different Sunderland would be at the Stadium of Light for the visit of Everton on Sunday, and he hoped the fans would get behind the team.

“I would hope they’ll be there on Sunday. I hope they’ll see a different team completely,” said Sbragia.

“Sunderland fans have always been die-hards, they’ve always stuck with us. They’ve probably seen a few performances like that in the last 14-15 years but from my point of view that’s not acceptable.

“They’ve spent a lot of money, they come and support us and the one thing we should give them is commitment.

“It hurts me too. I know how they feel - I just hope the players appreciate that.

“We criticised them (the players), we spoke all about it in the dressing room - now we have to change it around for the next home game.”

Sbragia was unaware of any apparent snub to the supporters adding: “I didn’t really see (players not going to fans), I was up the tunnel but I would have hoped the players would go across (to the fans).

“The fans do spend a lot of money and they do travel a long way to watch us. If they didn’t we’ll speak to them about that.