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Missile throwers must be punished heavily to solve problem, says Steven Gerrard

Example needed: Rangers boss Steven Gerrard
Example needed: Rangers boss Steven Gerrard

By Andy Newport

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard fears the trouble on the terraces will only get worse unless a "severe" example is made of the missile throwers putting players in the firing line.

Gers left-back Borna Barisic narrowly escaped a potentially serious injury during Friday night's win at Hibernian when a glass bottle was hurled at him from the Easter Road stands.

It is not the first time fans based in the stadium's East Stand have hit the headlines.

Gers skipper James Tavernier was confronted by a pitch invader in March, just a week after Celtic winger Scott Sinclair was also targeted with a glass bottle.

And Gerrard believes the failure to stamp out those incidents has only encouraged others to follow suit.

He said: "Only action from the clubs will help or stop it in the long run.

"We can't just talk about it in the media. There's got to be serious actions taken. The individuals need to be identified because I do believe it's a minority.

"They need to be punished and punished heavily so it stops other people trying to do it in the future.

"It's a crazy decision to throw a bottle onto a football pitch. The damage you could do is unthinkable.

"It's very disappointing to see that but I'm sure Hibs will deal with that.

"We again just send a message to our own fans to make sure they behave.

"If the punishment isn't severe enough then people will continue to make bad decisions from the terraces.

"There needs to be an example set - a severe one - and then that will make people think and things will improve. But it does seem like we're going backwards rather than forwards.

"Us as managers and players will keep saying the right things, but the fans have to take responsibility for their actions when they go to the game.

"They need to concentrate on watching the football rather than misbehaving."

Belfast Telegraph


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