Hearts boss Craig Levein vows to continue speaking out over refs’ wrong calls

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Hearts manager Craig Levein has hit back at his Aberdeen counterpart Derek McInnes after being accused of complaining too often about refereeing decisions. The pair disagreed over penalty calls after Aberdeen beat Hearts 2-0 at Pittodrie on Saturday.

Levein did not mince his words after McInnes claimed he protests too much.

Craig Levein said he 'had to laugh' at Derek McInnes' claims

Craig Levein said he 'had to laugh' at Derek McInnes' claims

“I get fed up with Del being a d**k,” said Levein. “Listen, I get on well with Del, but this is the same Derek McInnes who, when I was on the phone to him three weeks ago, was crying his eyes out about the decisions that we’re going against him.

“Particularly the two Old Firm decisions, the one where they got the penalty given outside the box, which Joe Lewis saved – and the sending-off of Cosgrove at Ibrox. He was crying like a little baby about the decisions going against him. So I have to laugh when I hear him saying that I’m always complaining.”

Levein stressed he will continue speaking out about wrong decisions because, ultimately, he wants Video Assistant Referees installed in Scottish football.

“I’ve just been over it again but I’ll keep doing it, keep complaining about standards,” he said. “‘In any other business, we would be looking into it, to try to make things better.”

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

The Scottish Football Association will hold a summit next month to discuss refereeing standards and the possibility of introducing VAR.

“I’m hoping that the VAR discussions come up with the correct conclusion, which is – without doubt – that we introduce VAR to Scottish football,” continued Levein. “There can’t be any reasonably-minded person who doesn’t want VAR, which ensures – as much as possible – that we get the right decisions in games. And that helps the referees.”

Hearts meet Hamilton at Tynecastle this afternoon seeking a win to boost confidence ahead of Saturday’s Edinburgh derby with Hibs at Easter Road.

“Hamilton are a tough team to play against,” said Levein. “We drew with them last time at home and we played well against them in the first league game of the season through there.

“They are doing what they usually do. They are scrapping away and picking up points.

“That effort and desire to work hard is obviously very much still part of their modus operandi.

“We expect a difficult match. I was encouraged on Saturday by some of the football we played at Pittodrie.

“I thought we showed a bit more composure. If we can take that into this game, it will help us.”