'Fizzling' Neil Lennon wants fan who hit him with coin to be 'embarrassed and humiliated'
A “fizzing” Neil Lennon called for the Hearts fan who hit him with a coin to be singled out and humiliated after the latest attack on the Hibernian head coach at Tynecastle.
Both Lennon and Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal were floored by attacks from supporters during a goalless Edinburgh derby which also saw Hibs striker Florian Kamberi sent off.
Zlamal appeared to be struck by the arm of a fan in the Hibs end as he went to retrieve the ball from behind his goal and missiles appeared to rain down as he got up and gestured in defiance.
Lennon was struck in the face by a pound coin after Clevid Dikamona had a stoppage-time goal ruled out for offside and the game was held up as he received treatment.
The Irishman was previously assaulted by a Hearts fan on the touchline while Celtic manager and he was disgusted by the latest attacks on him and Zlamal.
“My jaw is throbbing,” Lennon said. “I’m very, very angry. I’m fizzing about it.
“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 to a football pitch I will never know.
“I believe Zlamal was hit as well. It’s just ridiculous. We don’t defend that behaviour from our supporters as well. Hopefully both individuals will be singled out.
“I would like to meet the individual who threw the coin at me some day, because I am not happy about it at all.”
When asked what he would say to him, Lennon said: “It’s not for public consumption, trust me. I don’t know if I would saying anything to him.
“The referee might have had some missiles thrown at him as well, I don’t know who by.
“It’s blackening the name of both clubs and Scottish football. This should be a showpiece game, it was feisty and intimidating, everything you expect. But if people can’t behave themselves they should be banned, singled out, embarrassed and humiliated, because they have humiliated the club.”
Lennon turned round towards the celebrating Hearts fans after the goal was disallowed but he dismissed any suggestion he had done anything wrong.
“It was really light-hearted the whole game, there was no malice, a bit of banter between me and a couple of fans,” he said. “Obviously there was some heavy stuff as well but nothing over the top. So where that came from I don’t know.
“Their mode of thinking will be ‘he brings it on himself’. Sorry, that does not wash, and that’s why I am angry. And it could have been a lot worse.”
Hearts boss Craig Levein admitted he had got a scare when he saw Lennon lying on the ground in the technical area.
“Bobby (Zlamal) said someone struck him and it looked like Neil was hit by a coin,” he said.
“It saddens me. Both teams are doing well, don’t want to get beat, tensions are high, aggression is evident throughout the match on the field. But there’s no place for things like that. You can sign and shout and swear all you like but..
“I got a fright when I saw Lenny on the ground. I hope they catch whoever it was that threw it. They need to be dealt with.”
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