Aberdeen fans have revealed how tensions risked boiling over for a second time just hours before the club’s crucial Europa League clash with Siroki Brijag in Bosnia.
Dons supporters were left bloodied on Wednesday night after being attacked with weapons and flares by a mob of masked thugs outside the Black Dog bar in Mostar.
But yesterday afternoon, the situation looked like it could turn again after a group of youths threw a wheelie bin over a wall into an area where fans were sitting.
Martin Watt, who travelled from Aberdeen to watch the game, said there was “no longer a nice atmosphere” in Mostar after Bosnian police were forced to step up their presence in the area.
Speaking ahead of kick-off, he said: “We have to have eyes in the back of our head at the moment. There are police everywhere and there has been more trouble this afternoon.
“Siroki have had supporters banned from their last few games for bad behavior so I’m not sure why they thought this match would be any better. I think there could be more trouble.”
Graham Love, 30, admitted he had been left “a bit less excited” for the match but said locals had been working hard to reassure supporters.
He added: “I don’t think this was an attack on Aberdeen fans. I got the impression it was an indiscriminate attack. I saw a number of tourists and locals caught up in it too.”
Owner of the Black Dog bar, Stephen Long, praised Dons fans for their behaviour in the aftermath of the attack.
He said: “We offer our sincere apologies to those who were attacked in the pub. This is not normal behaviour in Mostar and we are all still stunned at what happened.
“I hope the idiots responsible are identified and dealt with.”
Bosnian police believe a group called the Ultras of Zrinski Mostar may have been behind the attack and are currently investigating.
Siroki Brijeg, based around 12 miles from Mostar, were also quick to condemn the violence yesterday.
A club spokesman confirmed their own supporters are not believed to have been involved in the incident but praised Dons fans for their response.
He added: “We want to publicly thank Aberdeen FC and their supporters.”