Hearts manager Robbie Neilson explains his red card after Raith Rovers defeat and gives Christophe Berra injury update

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson was red-carded by referee John Beaton at the end of Raith Rovers’ 3-2 win at Tynecastle Park.

Saturday, 23rd January 2021, 6:07 pm
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson during his team's 3-2 loss against Raith Rovers.

He had been cautioned during the game for complaining and received a second yellow card after approaching the official at full-time.

“Part of the reason I got a second yellow was because I just tried to speak to the referee,” said Neilson. “Most referees you are allowed to speak to but he just tells you to get out of his face.

“If you don’t get out of his face then he will yellow-card you. I’m disappointed as I just wanted to speak to him.”

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Neilson was unhappy with some decisions, including the penalty award for Raith’s second goal and an alleged handball at their third.

However, the Hearts manager did not dispute the fact his side performed badly for the majority of the afternoon and suffered accordingly.

They were 3-0 down to goals from Gozie Ugwu, a Manny Duku penalty and Regan Tumilty before two Liam Boyce headers raised hope of a draw.

“We weren’t at the races for the first 50 or 60 minutes. We didn’t have our normal spark,” said Neilson.

“The first goal takes four or five ricochets and then falls to their player [Ugwu]. We lose a penalty which in my opinion isn’t a penalty. The third one is a handball on the line which you hope the linesman is going to see.

“I thought we fought back well and could have got an equaliser or even won it with the chances we had but it wasn’t to be.”

Hearts now play Raith in Kirkcaldy on Tuesday. “It gives us a chance to go there and right a wrong,” added Neilson. “Today wasn’t good enough and we hope to do better at Raith. I thought we were sluggish in possession, defended very poorly at times.

"Their striker bullied our centre-halves and that gives them a link further up the pitch. It has to be better. There is no point in making excuses.”

Defender Christophe Berra is doubtful after pulling a hamstring and being substituted. “I’m not sure if he will make Tuesday but hopefully he will be okay for the following game,” said Neilson.

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