Chris Brunt has strong reponse to coin throwing

The West Bromwich Albion midfielder says that incidents like the one this weekend are "throwing football back 20 years".

West Bromwich Albion midfielder Chris Brunt has compared the incident in which he was struck by a coin thrown by a fan on Saturday to common assault and insisted that it absolutely should not be tolerated, according to quotes from ITV Sport.

The 31-year-old was hit by a coin thrown from the away end as he went over to Albion's fans to hand his shirt over at the end of the disappointing 3-1 defeat to Reading in the FA Cup fifth-round tie at the Madejski Stadium.

The Northern Ireland international was understandably furious after being struck in the face, and insisted that sort of act is no different from assaulting someone in the street.

He said, as quoted by ITV Sport: "You can accept criticism and accept people having a go at you in games for not playing well individually or as a team but you can't accept people throwing stuff. You are throwing football back 20 years with some of the behaviour there.

"I can't pick that coin up and throw it back at him. If I did that I would be all over the news and probably sitting in a police cell. It is definitely not on.

"I don't really see how that was any different to whacking someone in the street. We are not allowed to do it and nobody is allowed to do it in the street so why should he be allowed to throw coins at football matches?"

This is not the first time that a player has been hit by an object thrown from the stands, with then-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand being left bleeding from a coin thrown by Manchester City fans after Robin van Persie's late winner in 2012. 

West Brom and Brunt himself have issued pleas for the culprit to come forward, and it is thought that police will treat the incident as assault.

Brunt, who has played more than 300 games for Albion since joining the Birmingham side in 2007, has been one of the club's players to have received criticism from some sections of the support this season for underwhelming performances.

The Baggies are currently 14th in the Premier League, eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch