Asked what the nation is entitled to expect of Gareth Jenkins' side at the tournament, in which their campaign opens on Sunday in Nantes against Canada, Popham replied: "The nation is entitled to expect a result against them.
"We just want support all the way through. The media has been negative and the public has not been happy, but it would make a massive difference for everyone to be behind us.
"The boys say they don't read the papers, but sometimes you do and it may not affect you, but if you see something good written about you and an article recalls good things you've done in the past, it's only going to help.
"If you go into the tournament not so much believing you are the best player in the world, but that you are a decent player - and the boys know they are - it will help.
"We have just got to go there thinking we can do a job and wanting to do a job.
"But I only want my family and friends to tell me what's in the papers if it's good. I've had to tell my mother that. She tells me all the time what's been said and written and I've learned my lesson.
"You are going to get people who believe you shouldn't be playing. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it's about what you feel and you want to feel positive because otherwise it's only going to affect your game.
"Wales is mad in terms of the way emotions about the national team fluctuate, but we have to take the bad with the good. We just want some positive feelings going into the tournament."