Andy Halliday insists he didn't deserve red card as he reflects on Hearts victory over Celtic
Andy Halliday insists he didn’t deserve to be sent off during Hearts’ victory over Celtic on Saturday.
The Tynecastle midfielder was guilty of taking down Celtic captain Callum McGregor during the second half of the contest. The ex-Rangers player caught his opponent on the ankle but escaped without punishment as referee kept his cards in his pocket for the entire game.
A number of Celtic supporters online insisted the 29-year-old should have been given his marching orders, while some queried whether Madden’s appearances on Open Goal, a podcast where Halliday is a regular, played a part in the decision.
Halliday, while admitting he should’ve been booked for the foul, believes it was right he stayed on the park.
He said on Open Goal’s Keeping the Ball on the Ground show: “It’s not a red card. It’s a yellow card, 100 per cent. There was no malicious intent in it whatsoever. It was a poor tackle and it definitely deserved a booking."
Despite the 2-1 victory, achieved thanks to a late John Souttar goal after Tony Ralston had cancelled out Gary Mackay-Steven’s early opener, Halliday believes there is more to come from Robbie Neilson’s side in the coming weeks.
He also paid tribute to the heroics of Craig Gordon, who salvaged two points with a pair of excellent saves deep into injury-time.
He added: “I don’t want to give it the Sportscene answer, but that’s all it is: it’s a good start.
“I said to the boys, Celtic are a good team, but we’ll be confident against anybody at Tynecastle.
“I think we can play better, to be honest. We started the game really well, first 15-20 minutes, but then it was like in any game where you go 1-0 and you’re not fancied. I don’t know what it is, but you just naturally start to drop five or ten yards deep.
“I still thought we defended very well. You’re talking about the last couple of minutes before Celtic created two really good chances. And they were really good chances, but that’s why you have a top goalkeeper between the sticks.”