STEVE Johnson today blamed Terras’ internet fans for getting him the sack.

The shocked former boss insists he lost chairman Martyn Harrison’s support after critical messages appeared on the club’s unofficial website message board.

He explained: “There are a few mugs on the internet who chip away over time and I think they have an unhealthy influence.

“The chairman read what was put on there every day and although I also looked at it, I kept telling him to stop reading it.

”After a while, I think he started to believe what was being written and I paid the price.

“The people writing the messages represent a tiny majority compared to our I,000-plus gates.

“Yet despite their small number, they have plenty of influence.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if they said who they were but a lot of them hide behind made up names.”

Johnson, whose former side turned in their worst performance of the season in a I-0 defeat to struggling Newport County on Saturday, said he ‘no idea’ his dismissal was coming.

He told Echosport: “I didn’t have an inkling I was going to get sacked and to be honest I’m still shellshocked about it.

“As a person I like Martyn Harrison a lot and he’s been very good to me on a personal level while I was in the job and backed me in everything I asked.

“But while I knew he was ruthless, I didn’t expect to get the sack.

“The chairman has backed me 100 per cent then cut my legs away. He was also a good friend which, in a way, is why I’m so disappointed it happened the way it did.

“I knew something was up last Tuesday when I was called and asked to come into a meeting with Martyn and directors Tristan Murless and Matt McGowan.

”As I walked in Matt, who was my biggest supporter on the board, said to me ‘It’s not working is it?’

“I thought ‘hang on, this is the man who was publicly backing me in the Dorset Echo only a few days earlier’.

“The problem is the directors are scared of the chairman. But why be on the board in the first place if you can’t make a decision?”

He added: “Results hadn’t been the best recently and I knew reaching the play-offs would be a big ask, but I couldn’t go around saying that publicly because it would affect crowds.

“When I was appointed I was asked to do a job. I was asked,to lower the average age of the squad and cut the wage bill which I did.

“The players I wanted to sign were not available mid-season and, in truth, some of those brought in were only viewed as stop gaps until this summer when better players would be available.

“I’d already set up three deals ~ a £20,000 one for a keeper, £10,000 for a Conference midfielder and £8,000 for a Conference centre forward, but they are obviously dead in the water now.

Johnson, who now plans to work with brother Gary at Yeovil before returning to management, said his family life had been ‘turned upside down’ since his sacking.

“My family had found a house in Weymouth and we planned to move in last Wednesday,’ the day after I was sacked,” he said.

“The kids, who are aged 14 and six, had just started school locally, made a few friends and now we’ll have to move them out again.

“But that’s football I guess. It’s something you have to accept if you get involved.

“Like I said, I got on really well with Martyn as a person and he was tremendous in helping me do my job.
“But I just feel this decision was a bit rash.”

Meanwhile caretaker boss Gary Borthwick, said the Terras are suffering a confidence crisis following their woeful display against Newport.

“I can’t see where our next goal is coming from,” he said.

“The lads are all really down in the dumps and we’ve got a job to try and lift them.

“The danger is we could get dragged further down the table with more poor results.”

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