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LENNON RAGES AT COIN-THROWING ‘COWARD’

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HIBS boss Neil lennon was struck on the face with a coin at the end of an explosive derby that ended goalless against Hearts at Tynecastle.

The furious Irishman branded the supporter who threw the object a “coward”.

Lennon also condemned the Hibs fan who hit opposition keeper Zdenek Zlamal as he retrieved the ball from in front of the away stand and called for tougher punishments to be introduced for acts of hooliganism.

The former Celtic gaffer, who was assaulted at the same ground in 2011, was visibly shaken when he spoke to the media afterwards.

He said: “It’s disgraceful. I don’t blame the club, you can’t legislate for the hatred of some individuals or the badness. What possesses people to throw things on the football pitch I will never know.

“I believe Zlamal was hit, as well, and it’s just ridiculous. We do not defend that behaviour from our supporters and, hopefully, both individuals will be singled out.

“I would like to meet the individual who threw a coin at me someday because I am not happy about it at all. It’s just badness, badness.

“The referee might have had some missiles thrown at him, as well. It’s just blackening the name of both clubs and of Scottish football. This should be a showpiece game.

“It was feisty, it was intimidating, everything you would expect. But if people can’t behave themselves they should be singled out and embarrassed and humiliated.”

Lennon added: “It can’t go on. I don’t know if it’s a stewarding problem or a police problem. How can you legislate for some mindless idiots in a crowd of 19,000?

“We are talking about incidents like this when we should be talking about the game. I’m sick of it. Really sick of it to tell the truth.”

“I don’t blame the club. What can you do about people throwing things? They are cowards at the end of the day.

“There is no train of thought other than wanting to hurt somebody. It could have been me, it could have been Garry Parker or the fourth official, it could have been any of us. I am really angry about it. I am fizzing about it.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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