The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

ANDY Hessen­thaler in­sists there was noth­ing to the in­ci­dent that has seen club Ley­ton Ori­ent pres­i­dent Francesco Bec­chetti charged with mis­con­duct af­ter aim­ing a kick at the as­sis­tant man­ager.

Ori­ent had won their Box­ing Day game 3-2 against Portsmouth when Bec­chetti was caught on cam­era fol­low­ing Hessen­thaler onto the pitch be­fore swing­ing his leg at him.

And, while the Ital­ian has been charged by the FA for vi­o­lent and/or im­proper con­duct, Hessen­thaler was keen to play down the in­ci­dent.

“Well, it is Box­ing Day, to be fair. It was noth­ing – it was fine. It was a lit­tle bit of ban­ter; some­thing that’s been go­ing on be­tween us over the last few weeks,” he said.

“It prob­a­bly looked worse than it was. He’s a pas­sion­ate guy, you can see that.”

Bec­chetti now has un­til Jan­uary 4 to re­spond to the charge but a club state­ment re­it­er­ated Hessen­thaler’s stance.

It said: “There was ab­so­lutely noth­ing un­to­ward about the ex­change and the two men get along very well pro­fes­sion­ally on the pitch and per­son­ally off it.”

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