Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt has insisted what he said about the Holker Street atmosphere at last week’s goalless draw was not meant as a criticism of the club’s supporters.

On what was a frustrating afternoon for the Bluebirds against the Shaymen, some home fans did make their disappointments heard, as their side huffed and puffed.

Evatt said after the game that it was the first time this season that the atmosphere at AFC’s home ground had had a negative vibe about it when the players needed a lift.

His team are set to get a raucous backing at his old club Chesterfield this afternoon, with a sizeable travelling contingent making the three-hour trip to the Proact Stadium in hope of seeing Barrow complete a league double over the Spireites.

Evatt said: “I’m obviously looking forward to going and I’m looking forward to seeing the support we get from Barrow – our away fans have been magnificent all season.

“The way they travel in their numbers is a credit to the club.

“I think what I said got a mixed reaction, in terms of the atmosphere last week, but I didn’t mean it in a negative way.

“Sometimes we weren’t good enough on Saturday and, yes, the players didn’t achieve the levels that I think they should get to, but on the odd occasion that does happen, we would like the crowd to have really got behind us and really get the players going.

“You just felt like it was a bit flat, a bit negative, and maybe that’s natural after the heights of the Salford game, but to lose a thousand on the gate and for us to have that atmosphere was just a bit disappointing.

“But the way the fans have backed me and back the players all season has been magnificent, and I hope they don’t take that as a criticism.”

Away from Derbyshire, Bluebirds striker Nathan Waterston is set to make his debut for Altrincham, where he’s spending a month on loan, in their away game at Leamington today.

His time with the National League North side provides him with a great chance to build up his fitness after over four months out following shoulder surgery.

Evatt said: “Nathan needs to play games to get up to speed. It would be quite easy for him to go play for the under-21s, but the under-21s isn’t the level he needs to play at to get up to speed.

“He’s gone to a team in the league below who are not only doing very well but also, which is important, is that they’re playing the right way – passing possession-based football, with pace and movement, similar to how we play.”

“In a month’s time, when he’s fully fit, he’ll be able to come back in and effect in our team.”