Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany believes the possible introduction of netting to prevent missiles being thrown at players would be like treating football supporters as "animals that have to be behind cages".
Rio Ferdinand was struck in the face by a coin in the stormy Manchester derby after Robin van Persie had scored a last-minute winner in United's 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium, leading Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor to make a case for putting netting up around certain areas of the pitch.
But Kompany, who was speaking to BBC's Football Focus during City's annual visit to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, said: "It is never a good thing to happen, not just for Manchester City or Manchester United, but for football. I would definitely say we need action on prevention but keep treating fans as human beings and not animals that have to be behind cages."
He went on: "I do think we should take action against these incidents and I have heard a lot of suggestions about putting up nets and everything.
"But the fact we are able to put people outside of cages is something that makes the English game so much more special."
City boss Roberto Mancini also played down talk of nets as he told a press conference on Friday: "Football here is beautiful.
"People here are very close to the players.
"I am very sorry for what happened in the derby. I hope it won't happen again.
"But football is better without nets."