By Alex Taylor
Middlesbrough fans have spoken of their violent ordeal at the Olympic Stadium during their side’s 1-1 draw with West Ham on Saturday.
The Hammers moved to their new home this summer but the switch from Upton Park has been tarnished by poor stewarding and numerous altercations in the crowd.
In The Sun, Middlesbrough fans claimed they had bottles and coins launched at them – alleging that one man was hospitalised after being hit on the head, as West Ham fans broke through a cordon.
“West Ham fans jumped on our coach to kick off before the driver pushed them away,” one Middlesbrough fan told The Sun. “I saw kids getting punched. Shocking.”
Another claimed: “[West Ham fans] cornered us all. [They] started punching anyone, parents who just took kids for a nice day out… A disgrace to football.”
The Olympic Stadium is the third biggest club stadium in England and offers a higher capacity than Anfield, the Etihad stadium and St James’ Park.
The violence at the ground comes after West Ham have suffered a dismal start to their Premier League campaign this season.
The east London outfit have lost five out of their seven league matches, with their only win coming in a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth in August.
Bilic will not be used to his side’s form at the start of the season, after he drove West Ham to a thrilling seventh placed finish in England’s top-flight last term and got the best from a side which finished 12th previously.
West Ham now face Crystal Palace and Sunderland, before taking on Chelsea in the League Cup.