Hearts will discipline Demetri Mitchell internally for his red card against Aberdeen.
Manager Craig Levein was unhappy with the on-loan Manchester United full-back and pledged to deal with him privately following Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Pittodrie.
Mitchell was sent off for a second caution in the 86th minute of the match, which Aberdeen won thanks to striker Sam Cosgrove’s early header and a second-half penalty.
Mitchell needlessly impeded the home substitute Dean Campbell near the halfway line and was ordered off by referee John Beaton.
As a result, the Englishman is now suspended for Hearts’ Boxing Day meeting with Hamilton Academical at Tynecastle Park.
“It was stupid. That’s something I will deal with. I was really angry at him,” Levein told the Evening News. “He was on a yellow card and then he just made a stupid challenge. He wasn’t the last man or anything like that because it was just inside our half. It was a silly thing to do.”
Although unhappy with some of Beaton’s refereeing, Levein added that he had no issue with the red card. “I have no complaints whatsoever about it. He [Mitchell] knows he is on a yellow card and didn’t need to make a challenge.
“He will miss a game now and maybe somebody will come in and take his place. He might not get back in. It was sheer stupidity, it really was.”
Despite the defeat, Levein felt Hearts produced an improved performance following their 5-0 loss at Livingston in their previous match. “I was a lot happier with us on Saturday,” he said. “We lost a stupid goal in the first minute but I was really happy with the way we played. Colin Doyle has had one save in the game, although their goalkeeper didn’t have a lot to do either.”
Much of the manager’s frustration centred around two penalty claims Hearts did not get, plus the one Aberdeen were awarded.
“We had two blatant penalties denied,” said Levein. “One on Peter Haring when he is barged when he is about to head for goal, and one when Steven Naismith is hauled to the ground right in front of the referee at a free-kick in the first half. In the second half, there was what I considered to be an unbelievably soft decision. Scott McKenna went down in amongst loads of bodies and the referee pointed to the spot. I’m hugely disappointed.
“I find it difficult to take. Pittodrie is a hard enough place to go without having to fight against things like that. People will say it’s just Craig Levein complaining and he does that after every game. I only complain about things when I feel it’s justified. When you have a look at the penalties, you see my complaints are justified.”
Levein was glad to see the return Hearts’ top goalscorer Naismith, who had been missing for seven weeks following knee surgery. “It was great getting Naismith back. Jamie Brandon got some time on the pitch and Marcus Godinho got another 80-odd minutes. Michael Smith did well again as a sweeper in the back three. Peter did well and overall I felt we were more like ourselves. I’m just disappointed to put in a lot of effort and get nothing for it.”