West Brom boss Alan Pardew expects Jake Livermore to avoid a Football Association charge after his altercation at West Ham.
The midfielder had to be pulled away after a Hammers fan allegedly made a comment about the death of his baby son when he was substituted during Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at the London Stadium.
Albion have responded to the FA’s request for observations from all parties, which must be received by 6pm on Thursday, but Pardew doubts Livermore will be punished.
“I don’t think there will be a charge. It’s a situation they need to look at very, very carefully,” he said.
“It (the support for Livermore) is encouraging in the climate of what happened. Anyone whose been through the trauma of losing a child would know the impact is massive.
“I can’t possibly reflect on that. The incident was what it was and the FA and everybody else are understanding of the situation.
“We’ve left it in the hands of West Ham who I know very well and hopefully they’ll deal with the situation.
“He’s okay and I’ll take him to Exeter with no concern about his playing ability.
“He was hurt by the situation as you’d imagine but the media have been very supportive of him and he’s found that a comfort.”
West Ham ejected the fan, who was spoken to by stadium staff, and are working with West Brom and Livermore to determine what happened.
In April 2015, the former Tottenham midfielder tested positive for cocaine after Hull’s Premier League win over Crystal Palace and played three further matches before being banned by the FA.
The 28-year-old escaped a further suspension after the FA ruled the death of his new-born son in May 2014 was an overwhelming mitigating factor.
Livermore undertook a course of rehabilitation and education and was also the subject of target testing for a period of 12 months.
Pardew has suffered abuse during his career and believes there needs to be more protection for players and staff.
He said: “I can remember going to Millwall and Wimbledon when I was a Crystal Palace player and remember things that were not particularly nice. I can remember a Barcelona game when a pig’s head was thrown on the pitch.
“There are things that are orchestrated and some things come from rage – this situation came from rage from the supporter and that’s worrying.
“The stewarding and policing of games is very good but particularly around the bench there needs to be more protection around that area.
“It’s an area that society has to look at, we’re having problems with policing the internet, as we all know, stuff on there regarding radicalisation and terrorism that can’t be removed for whatever reason. It is an issue.”
Livermore will travel to Exeter but Craig Dawson (fatigue) and Matt Phillips (hamstring) are out along with Nacer Chadli (hip) and James Morrison (Achilles).