SAINTS boss Keiron Cunningham has appealed for time to get the job done at Langtree Park after supporters made their feelings known after a humiliating night at home to Warrington.

With the team now six points adrift of fourth-placed Wigan, Saints face the prospect of leaving themselves with too much to do in the Super 8s.

After promising signs that they had turned the corner the previous week at Hull, the rudderless display from a team sorely missing the guidance of Luke Walsh, came as a shock in a season already littered with unsatisfactory displays.

Cunningham took the criticism on the chin and said he never expected to be given any extra latitude on account of his playing career.

When asked about the atmosphere and calls for him to go, he said: “It is tough but it is part of sport.

“Part of you feels like you have bled for this club and run your blood to water, but that doesn’t entitle you to anything.

“There is no free entitlement in rugby league – if anything it just intensifies the scrutiny.

“If the fans would have a little bit of faith in what I want to do – that is all that I ask for. All the hierarchy of the club are working exceptionally hard for the future of the club.

“There was always going to be a hiccup period and unfortunately things are not going how we would like them to go at the minute, but it does not mean that the season is over.”

Friday’s performance seemed to unravel pretty early on and the only glimmers of consolation was the fact that they kept Warrington at bay for the last 32 minutes when it looked as though they were going to concede a cricket score.

Having gone through the game and dissected it, Cunningham had his own analysis.

“We just did not attack well on Friday night and then that led to anxiety, you got a couple of young kids dropping balls and a couple of senior players not in the form they should be in.

“I have been in worse situations.

“We lost Luke Walsh the week before and although Theo Fages and Jon Wilkin did a decent job at Hull but we have had not had much practice time.

“It can come to be a bit of a blunt and it did at certain times of the game.

"Added to that we also missed what Jon Wilkin normally does playing up a middle and on an edge.

“We will find the combination that works – everyone is as anxious as each other, the fans and the players all want good for the club.

“We missed a bit of direction,” he said.

The Warrington defeat, although not as heavy as the maulings against Roosters, Hull, Salford away and Magic, felt much worse - but that was magnified by a number of other factors being thrown into the mix.

The slide away from the leading four, the absence of Walsh, the release of Travis Burns, the baiting of the away fans and an attack that seemed to have little clue what to do were all thrown into a melting pot at a Langtree Park stadium where the toxic atmosphere has been festering all season.

As a result it felt like one of the worst 80 minutes Saints supporters have had to endure for a long while and gave the impression of a chasm opening up between the fans and the club.

In the cold light of analysis Cunningham saw it differently

"The effort is going in the right direction – if you compare it to Magic and some of the games before that the effort was horrendous," he said.

"We are really working hard. We got let down by a couple of players – I am not going to say who. But it hurt us in some situations.

"Warrington took opportunities - they had four or five chances and took them, but we just did not execute very well. In games that is difference between sides.

"We had lots of cracks with the whip and did nothing with it.

"We did not defend well enough when we should have. But certain individuals let us down and we are going to have to do something about that.

"We have lots to play for this year. But next year things will be completely different.

"I can genuinely understand the frustration of the fans, and if they want to make me the brunt of that frustration that is fine - I have no issue with that.

"I am sure when the time comes and we turn things around those people will be back happy."

On Friday night it was hard to imagine Cunningham was once the hero of the crowd, the man being chaired over to the Scaff's choristers, where a homemade banner declared him King Keiron after he had bundled four Castleford defenders out of the way to book the team a home semi-final in the last days of Knowsley Road.

Despite the taunts and abuse at Langtree Park, Cunningham has not changed his view of the supporters.

"I think they are the best in the world, whether they are cheering me or telling me I am getting sacked in the morning. They are a great bunch – no different to myself.

"I grew up in Portico where we are all working class people – where we work hard for our money and care about the sport.

"The supporters have been there through thick and thin and everybody is entitled to an opinion.

"I don’t take it personally and understand the frustration.

"I've been a Saints fan since being stood on the terrace watching Jarrod McCracken - that was me.

"If I wasn’t doing what I am doing now I'd probably be stood on the terraces myself booing Keiron Cunningham. "That is sport.

The buck stops with me, but all I ask the fans is for them to give me a little bit of time, be patient with us as a club, things will change and I promise them that they will see that in the not too distant future."