Coleraine boss Oran Kearney can share the sense of frustration being endured by the club’s fans this season.
The Bannsiders have struggled to find any momentum during the opening weeks of the Danske Bank Premiership.
Just three wins from their opening 12 games has left the Showgrounds outfit labouring in ninth spot in the table.
Kearney – who is always willing to engage with supporters – met with a group of disgruntled fans on Tuesday night to discuss the club’s stuttering start.
And the Coleraine boss admits the overwhelming theme of the informal gathering was one of frustration following the lacklustre start to the campaign.
“I have met with the fans before, and sometimes we do a wee Q&A session on Twitter, just to engage with the supporters,” Kearney said.
“I met with a few of them on Tuesday night and we talked over how things have gone so far.
“I feel it is important to engage with the people who pay money to watch the team play, and it allows them to ask me questions.
“You have to do it whether you are winning or losing. You can’t take all the plaudits, and then suddenly run away from the criticism.
“The fact is that the fans are frustrated, and I can appreciate that. But there is no-one more frustrated than the players and me.
“It has been a difficult opening to the season, but we have to remain optimistic that we will things around.
“The fact is we are sitting ninth, but we are only six points off second.”
Coleraine threw away a two-goal lead against derby rivals Ballymena United – eventually drawing 2-2 – before last week’s 3-1 defeat to Glentoran.
Kearney hopes they can bounce back with what would be a first win against Ballinamallard on Saturday afternoon.
“We have never beaten Ballinamallard since they came up, so that is a record we want to change,” he added.
“We know if we can go on a wee run, then that will lift the players. As a player, winning breeds confidence so that is what we have to do.
“But I am happy with the squad I have, and I am happy with where we are going. But it has been frustrating, and we should be doing better.”
Mallards boss Whitey Anderson believes his players need to be mentally charged for Saturday’s clash with Coleraine.
“We got a good win against Glenavon last week, but we have to back that up now with a home game against Coleraine,” he said.
“Our form recently has been indifferent, with a win usually following by a defeat.
“So we can’t get complacent after last week, and against Coleraine we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas.
“I read that Oran met the fans this week, so he is trying to galvanise everyone at Coleraine.
“They will be determined to get a win on Saturday, but we have the same objective.”