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Reading's Hunt unhappy with West Ham keeper Green

Reading winger Stephen Hunt believes he's being singled out by referees this season.

Hunt was booked in Reading's 1-1 draw with West Ham on Boxing Day after an altercation with goalkeeper Robert Green - but insists he was the innocent party.

The Ireland international has the support of Reading manager Steve Coppell, who fears Hunt is being judged on reputation.

"I have to speak up for Stephen Hunt. As far as I was concerned, he was totally innocent when he was booked," said Coppell.

"He didn't do anything but chase a ball down. My fellow has done nothing wrong and was booked on past history.

"The referee back-tracked at half-time. He told one of my staff it was to get him out of the way and when he didn't retreat he was booked.

"But the fourth official said it was dissent - if anyone can understand Stephen Hunt in those circumstances they are doing an awful lot better than I can."

Hunt is a tenacious, hard-working midfielder but does not have a poor disciplinary record, the Boxing Day booking only his third this season.

He felt hard done by at Upton Park.

Green collided with the retreating Scott Parker but appeared to exchange words with Hunt, and the pair then engaged in a shoving match.

"It was an over-reaction from the goalkeeper. It was harsh on me, and I'm a bit fed up with it," said Hunt. "It was nothing to do with me. Maybe the referee booked me for complaining, but you can't blame me. The way the goalkeeper reacted was not right really.

"I think when I get into certain situations the decision goes against me.

"There's nothing you can do - I'm a committed player. I'm making a run forward, and there's little if any contact with Parker. It was the goalkeeper's fault."

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