Gary Locke admitted today that Jamie Hamill only has himself to blame as he prepares to sit out Sunday’s Edinburgh derby through suspension.
The Hearts midfielder has received a notice of complaint from the Scottish Football Association for barging Derek Adams to the ground last week and has been disciplined by his club.
Hamill apologised to team-mates at Riccarton on Monday morning after what Locke referred to as a “moment of stupidity” against Ross County. He was sent off in the game after scoring and running off with the ball before colliding with Adams. His automatic one-match suspension leaves Locke without one of Hearts’ most experienced players against Hibs this weekend.
“Jamie realises he’s got no-one else to blame but himself,” said the manager. “One wee moment of stupidity last week has cost him a place in the derby. The complaint from the SFA is another wee problem we could have done without but we’ll address it when it comes round.
“He’s been disciplined internally. The first thing he did on Monday morning was apologise to everyone because he knew it was a second of madness. When you look at it again, it wasn’t great, but I’ve certainly seen a lot worse. We dealt with it internally and for me that was the end of it.
“It’s not ideal with him missing because I feel he’s one player who has done really well consistently over the whole season. I don’t think you really notice the importance of Hamill to the team until he’s not playing. He was suspended earlier in the season and we missed him so it’s a blow for us that he’s out for Sunday.
“Scott Robinson was outstanding when he came on against County last Saturday and we do have some strength in depth in midfield, which is pleasing.”
Robinson is certain to deputise for Hamill in central midfield, with winger Jamie Walker in contention to start his first match since January after returning from injury.
Paul McCallum, the on-loan West Ham United striker, returned to training yesterday after an ankle complaint and will be assessed again today.
Midfielder Callum Tapping is expected to resume training next week after a knee problem, however third-choice goalkeeper Jack Hamilton’s season appears to be over due to an ankle injury.
“He’ll miss the rest of the season I would think, which is a blow for the lad because we have the Youth Cup final coming up. It looks like he’ll miss that,” added Locke.