KEVIN WATSON, the Ebbsfleet United boss, has claimed Victoria Park is the most hostile venue he has come across in his lengthy career.

The Fleet won 1-0 at Hartlepool United on Saturday, with two separate allegations of racist abuse directed in Pools direction. The club is investigating the complaints lodged by the visiting players.

The atmosphere inside the ground has improved immensely over the last 12 months, with the negativity which was a regular feature disappearing.

But Watson feels that while the home crowd is fully behind their own players, there’s plenty for the opposition to deal with.

“I’m unbelievably pleased with the result, but I’ve mixed emotions,’’ he mused. “I’ve said to the players I’ve played every level over 25 years and those alleged shouts aside, I’ll be honest, this is the most hostile atmosphere for almost 4,000 people.

“They are a demanding, demanding support. I found it, whether I’ve not noticed it before, as it’s different being out on the pitch, the most hostile atmosphere I’ve played in or managed.

“That’s as an atmosphere. They are always, guys in and around the dug out you will get stick and this was no more than usual. All credit to Dave for getting these players to play for this expectant crowd.’’

Watson played at Victoria Park six times during his playing days and added: “I think ex-Football League clubs have it. Hartlepool, with 4,000, these supporters have seen them in the league above and league above that and they are demanding will want them in and around the play-offs for sure.

“From my experience, I’ve not been in the job long, but as a player I know how to manage these situations. Yes, we got stick. Is keeping the ball in the corner time-wasting? Is it when the ball comes back out and returning it back time-wasting? I think it’s game knowledge and game nous.

“Seeing out a win, which at times we’ve not been good at. To get one goal and a clean sheet is pleasing.

“As an away team you can use that negativity in your favour. I didn’t fine a lot of negativity towards the home team, it was all directed at my players.

“If you want to play football at this level for along time or higher, you are doing to encounter crowds like this and more. I’m pleased they shown a lot of bottle to stand up to it.’’