Mark Hughes believes John Toshack may have inadvertently sparked what Craig Bellamy described as Wales fans' "vicious" abuse of their own players during the European Championship qualifier in San Marino.
Wales captain Bellamy and his team-mates were upset with the amount of vitriol directed at the team by some of the 400 travelling supporters during Wednesday night's 2-1 Euro 2008 qualifying victory.
In the build-up to the match, the manager Toshack had accused his "pampered" stars of lacking fight and fans reportedly chanted "You're not fit to wear the shirt" during the match. The Blackburn manager Hughes, whom Toshack replaced as Wales manager three years ago, believes his successor may have added fuel to the fire.
"I think maybe that was the problem the other night," he said. "Maybe the fact it was a small crowd as well meant individuals could pick up on what individual fans were saying to them. If those things are personally directed at certain individuals, it's not a nice situation to be in.
"Maybe that was primed because of the comments at the weekend. Maybe it was to be expected because of the circumstances."
Toshack is under pressure following a poor qualifying campaign, but Hughes would not be drawn on whether he thinks the former Liverpool striker will keep his job. "I've no idea," he said. "I think he's got a contract until 2010 and I'm sure that will be the case."Reuse content