Ryan Porteous speaks on Hibs red card for first time and insists he’s not getting bad reputation
Hibs youngster Ryan Porteous doesn’t fear he’s earning an unwanted reputation following his red card against Kilmarnock.
The Scotland Under-21 defender was sent off for bringing down Killie winger Liam Millar seconds from the end of extra-time in the Betfred Cup tie at Rugby Park, the Easter Road side clinching a semi-final place by winning a sudden death penalty shoot-out.
But while he acknowledges he has an aggressive approach to the game, Porteous was adamant his challenge on Millar was by no means as bad as some tried to make out.
He said: “I think it looked worse than it actually was. I heard one commentator say that I took him waist height – it was shin on shin and I think he would admit that. I wasn’t going in to hurt him, I was just trying to stop the counter-attack.”
After being out for eight months following surgery for knee ligament damage, the cup tie was only Porteous’ third match and, he admitted, tiredness could well have played a part, the punishment being a two-match ban which saw him sit out Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Celtic, while he’ll also miss out against the same side when they meet in the semi-final at Hampden at the beginning of next month.
But, he claimed, he’ll learn from the experience, revealing older team-mates have been quick to pass on a little advice as to how he could have avoided a sending off, as has head coach Paul Heckingbottom.
He said: “The manager spoke to about it, but it wasn’t a long chat. I’ve already spoken to him and the coaching staff before about the kind of tackles I should be making, so he just basically said it was fine making the tackle if it’s taking yellow card for the team but find a way to do it so I’m actually getting a yellow and not a red.
“But he wouldn’t want me to take that out of my game completely.
“Darren (McGregor), Dave (Gray) and Paul (Hanlon) has all said I could have just grabbed a shirt, used my hands or maybe tripped him in a cuter way.
“But I have only been sent off once in however many games I have played. Until it becomes a problem and I’m getting sent off every other week, I don’t think there’s anything I need to seriously address.
“I don’t mind what people say. They can say what they want, but the stats will say how many red cards and how many yellow I get.
“It’s all part of the learning curve and developing as a young player, especially when you play an aggressive game. Hopefully I can develop from that.
“I don’t think I am a reckless defender. I can play and the manager here wants us to get on the ball, show for the ball, be confident on it and make forward passes. He wants us to be intelligent with the ball.
“I think the three games I’ve played have been difficult ones for defenders to get on the ball, a derby and two games at Kilmarnock where the pitch isn’t brilliant.”