Hearts boss facing more punishment after row with ref

Referee Alan Muir sends Paulo Sergio to the stand
Referee Alan Muir sends Paulo Sergio to the stand
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HEARTS manager Paulo Sergio can expect more punishment from the Scottish Football Association for his outburst at referee Alan Muir after being ordered to the stand during Saturday’s defeat to Kilmarnock.

The Portuguese coach is due to attend a hearing with the SFA’s compliance officer this Thursday over comments made earlier this month about referee Iain Brines. Now the governing body will investigate his conduct at the weekend.

Sergio is facing a possible two-match touchline ban for remonstrating with Muir, which would come on top of whatever sanctions are imposed on Thursday. The Hearts manager was exasperated following Ian Black’s 16th-minute red card for a reckless tackle on Dean Shiels and, as many subsequent decisions went against his team, he hit the dugout in frustration.

Muir was called over by fourth official Paul Robinson and dispatched Sergio from his technical area. The manager reacted furiously and his actions have been included in Muir’s match report.

“We have to be very careful with what we say,” said Sergio, speaking to the Hearts website. “I was sent off the bench because I hit the bench. I didn’t know it’s a rule that I can’t hit my bench.

“I hit the bench to exteriorise some feelings that I had. I think everyone can understand what those feelings were.”

Kilmarnock won the match 1-0 with Shiels’ 55th-minute penalty. The Irishman later criticised Hearts’ style of play and Black in particular.

“He goes in late and I don’t think anyone could argue with it being a red card,” said Shiels. “I rode the tackle but he caught me on the left ankle. He tackles quite dangerously and injures a lot of people.

“They are a physical side, Hearts. They have players who will go in hard but we stood up to it well.”

Shiels also rounded on Danny Grainger and Rudi Skacel. “He [Grainger] stamped on me. It’s a coward’s way out when you stamp on someone while they are on the ground, you can’t get much lower than that. Skacel is screaming and falling over and it’s an intense atmosphere but I think we stood up to that and showed a lot of bottle. We showed our mental toughness to get three points.”

Meanwhile, former Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo is in contention to be the new manager of Lithuania having been interviewed for the job by the country’s football federation.

“My aim is to get Lithuania to the European Championships in 2016,” said Laszlo.