TOMMY Wright fears the level of abuse being aimed at managers and players in Scotland is on the rise.
The St Johnstone boss feels for long-time pal and fellow countryman Neil Lennon after the Hibs manager was felled by a coin thrown from the stand late in the midweek derby clash with Hearts.
And the one-time Northern Ireland keeper was dismayed to see footage of Jambos No.1 Zdenek Zlamal being decked by a punch flung by a rival fan.
Wright, who takes his in-form side to Easter Road today, said: “In a season when there has been so much positivity we find Scottish football being dragged through the gutter.
“There seems to be at least one incident a season.
“Neil is a victim again, along with the Hearts goalkeeper and the referee’s assistant.
“But the whole of Scottish football is a victim.
“Quite rightly everyone is saying these sort of things shouldn’t be happening but it is still a problem, particularly at big games.
“There’s no place for it at football matches or in society.
“But I genuinely believe the level of abuse directed at managers and players has been on the increase.
“As managers we all get abused at games.
“I have experienced it back in Northern Ireland but over the last few years there has been more abuse being directed at managers and players on game days and on social media.
“Some of it is totally uncalled for.
“I know Neil has been a target for a while now and has had to put up with an awful lot. It shouldn’t happen.
“We live in a world where some people seem to think they have a right to say what they want and get away with it, whether it’s at football grounds or on social media.
“I’m not sure how we improve things.
“It will probably be down to supporters self-policing because decent fans sit beside the guilty people.”