Football: Violence by Boro fans condemned

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sunderland's chief executive, John Fickling, has criticised Middlesbrough fans who attacked the Sunderland team coach after Wednesday's Coca-Cola Cup third-round tie at the Riverside Stadium.

As the Sunderland coach approached the A19 out of town it was attacked with stones and lumps of concrete, which left many windows and the windscreen of the coach shattered. Fickling said: "We are very, very shocked at the violence and magnitude of the attack on the Sunderland team bus last night. Someone could very easily been seriously injured."

Middlesbrough won the North-east derby 2-0 and now face Bolton Wanderers at home in the next round.

Gianluca Vialli has vowed never to lose his control again after his first red card in English football. Chelsea's veteran Italian striker lashed out with his elbow against Blackburn's Swiss defender, Stephane Henchoz, during Wednesday's Coca-Cola tie at Stamford Bridge. Despite finishing with 10 men, Chelsea won 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. "I deserved to go," Vialli said. "I used my elbows and that is not acceptable. At my age I should know better, and it will not happen again. Now I have to wait to see what my punishment is."

Ruud Gullit, Chelsea's player-manager, has ruled out an immediate move into the transfer market to replace Gustavo Poyet, the Uruguayan midfielder who will miss the rest of the season after snapping his cruciate ligaments on Wednesday. "I have a big squad and loads of players coming back from injury, so I still have enough options," he said.

COCA-COLA CUP Fourth-round draw: Leeds v Reading, Middlesbrough v Bolton, Chelsea v Southampton, Derby v Newcastle, West Ham v Walsall, Liverpool v Grimsby, Arsenal v Coventry, Oxford v Ipswich. (Ties to be played week commencing 17 November).