Craig Levein laughs off Neil Lennon’s Hearts-Hibs comments

Hearts manager Craig Levein, left, and his Hibs counterpart Neil Lennon. Pic: SNS
Hearts manager Craig Levein, left, and his Hibs counterpart Neil Lennon. Pic: SNS
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Craig Levein laughed off Neil Lennon’s claims that Hearts tried to “kick Hibs off the park” on Wednesday.

The Easter Road manager felt the hosts were overly physical in a competitive Tynecastle derby which ended goalless.

Hearts had David Milinkovic, Jamie Walker and Kyle Lafferty booked, while Hibs enforcer Marvin Bartley was also cautioned.

Levein scoffed at the suggestion by his Easter Road counterpart – who was a combative midfielder in his playing days – that Hearts overstepped the mark. “Lenny forgets I watched him play,” smiled the Hearts manager. “I’ve got to laugh. He made a career out of kicking people.

“I mean it’s a derby match. That’s the thing in the last two or three years that we have maybe been accused of not doing - it’s just not acceptable. We can’t get steamrollered by Hibs, the supporters just won’t have it.”

Levein acknowledges that the match descended into a battle but insisted there was nothing untoward with regard to Hearts’ approach. “Lenny is making a point, but I remember in the first five minutes (Anthony) Stokes elbowing one of our players in the face,” he said. “I’m not going to go running to my mummy and say, ‘the big boy hit me and ran away’. There is no point in that. We can go through the game and talk about every situation. It was a proper derby match and I’m not sure the ball was required, to be honest with you.”