First Team

Robbie: No complaints

24th January 2016

Head coach has no issue with Rossi red card in stalemate against Accies.

Robbie Neilson admitted he had no issue with the decision to send off Igor Rossi in Sunday’s match with Hamilton Academical.

The game finished in a stalemate, with both sides reduced to ten men following red cards for serious foul play from both Rossi and Jesus Garcia Tena of the home side.

Despite playing at a disadvantage for around an hour, Hearts had the best chances, hitting the woodwork through headers by Blazej Augustyn and Dario Zanatta, while a last-gasp stop from Michael McGovern stopped Juanma winning the match in injury time.

"I've got no complaints,” said the head coach. “From what I saw I thought Igor went two-footed. I thought both of them went in over the ball but we'll take the red card and we just need to accept it, and hopefully he won’t do it again.

"If you go in with your two feet it's a red card, end of story. He's going to miss next week away at Inverness, and he only has himself to blame. It was a silly challenge. I'll speak to him on Tuesday."

The last time Hearts visited New Douglas Park, Robbie revealed the team had been training with ten men in the event of a red card. When questioned if he’d repeated this practice, the head coach dismissed the notion, saying that it was a standard part of training for the team.

"We didn't prepare with ten for this game specifically, unlike last time, due to the circumstances, but the players are used to doing it - we know we have got a good defence and we can break quickly and we sometimes look more dangerous when we are sitting in like that.

"I thought the team played really well with 10 men, we had some great chances." Neilson said. "All in all, disappointed not to take three points but I'm pleased with the spirit, the way they defended and the way we broke and gave the fans something to cheer today."

Finally, Robbie was asked if the team had an issue with indiscipline, due to the number of dismissals his side has seen this season - six, although Callum Paterson’s red card in August was rescinded.

Neilson denied any issue with indiscipline in the club, pointing out the red cards had all been issued to players who had never experienced Scottish top flight football prior to this season, and that the players themselves were still learning what was acceptable to Scottish officials.

“We do have an issue with players who join us not knowing what they can and cannot get away with. That’s all five of our summer signings who’d never played Scottish Premier League football before been sent off for us this season.

“Take Juanma up at St Johnstone, for example. An incident like that in Greece or Spain and nobody cares, but here, the player goes down and it’s a red card, so the players need to learn from these things because it will end up costing us.”