SCOTT ROBINSON admits it sometimes feels like the whole world is conspiring against Hearts.
But the midfielder insists the Jambos can’t rely on others doing them any favours this season and they must learn to take their chances when they arise.
The 21-year-old was gutted by the 3-1 defeat to Celtic at the weekend, and particularly the controversial penalty which help the Parkhead side on the way to all three points.
Referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot in the 18th minute, ruling that Jamie Hamill had handled inside the area, despite it seeming impossible for the Hearts player to get his arm out of the way as he was knocked off balance in a challenge with Anthony Stokes.
While Jason Holt levelled matters for the home side at the beginning of the second half, Stokes and Teemu Pukki sealed the win for the Hoops.
Having been written off beforehand, it was still a decent performance from Gary Locke’s young side. They failed to convert enough of their chances to give Celtic a real run for their money, though, and Robinson said: “We just don’t seem to be getting the breaks at all right now. We’ve conceded four penalties in the last five games, plus we’ve had a few red cards in there including Jamie’s at Inverness that got overturned.
“Sometimes it seems like everyone is against us, but there is no point in thinking like that.
“We know that no-one is going to do us any favours, if we are going to achieve anything this season, it is going to have to be through our own hard graft. We need to get out on the pitch and do the business when we get the chance.”
The decision to award the spot-kick on Saturday sent the home crowd into a stunned silence and Robinson admits that he felt sorry for team-mate Hamill. The same player was sent off for a handball in the defeat at Inverness a fortnight ago – only for the red card to be rescinded after an appeal by the club when TV pictures proved that the ball had actually come off his head.
It seems that, in the eyes of the authorities at least, the former Kilmarnock player can’t do much right and Robinson continued: “Up in Inverness was a bit of a shocker for Jamie and I think the one on Saturday wasn’t much better. The referee said that he was in an unnatural position but everyone that I have spoken to thought that it was a poor decision.
“I think that he was off balance when the ball came off him too.
“He’s not having the best of luck at the minute, but hopefully that will change over the next few weeks.
“Jamie had no idea what had happened and he felt that he had been knocked off balance by a challenge as well. He wasn’t too happy at all.”
Robinson conceded that the majority would probably have predicted a healthy win for Celtic before kick-off on Saturday, but he felt the Jambos had put in a credible performance against the champions, although it took them some time to find their feet in the game.
Hearts were already a goal behind by the time they started to make an impression on the match and Robinson added: “I think it was a slow start from us, we started quite slowly and never really got in their face to begin with, but, once we changed our tactics a bit, we really felt that we turned the game around.
“To go a goal down to a decision like that is gutting.
“But even after going behind, we picked ourselves up and came right back at them. To get the goal back so early in the second half was a great lift for us.
“The difference was that if you give them a chance they are more than likely to take it.
“Before the game, if you had asked anyone, they probably would have said Celtic would have won quite comfortably.
“So to have put in the performance that we did – apart from the opening 20 minutes – we’ve got to be happy.
“I thought that a couple of the goals were given away too cheaply, but it could quite easily have ended up a draw if things had just gone our way. Over the season it is not going to be this result that makes the difference, it’s how we get on against the likes of Ross County, Kilmarnock or St Mirren, which make all the difference.”
When you consider the position that the club found themselves in over the summer, though, Robinson, who has been nursing himself back from injury, believes that he and the rest of the players should still be looking at the positives from Saturday’s performance.
Hearts have clawed back seven of the 15 points they were deducted for entering administration and sit nine points behind the team in 11th position, St Mirren, having played just six games of the new league campaign.
The Paisley side do have a game in hand over Hearts, but that is also against Celtic, so Robinson knows they will be up against it.
“I think if you had told us that we would be on minus eight and nine points behind the next best team at this stage then we would have taken it,” he conceded.
“Obviously, St Mirren have got a game in hand over us, but that is against Celtic, so they will find that tough.
“We know that if we can beat them when we come up against them in a few weeks’ time, we will close the gap.
“And, at this stage, that is all we can ask for.”