Hearts boss Ian Cathro has played down reports of his half-time bust-up with Bjorn Johnsen but refused to give any guarantee over the American’s Tynecastle future.
Reports claimed the Jambos boss and frontman Johnsen were involved in an angry exchange as they were heading up the tunnel during Wednesday night’s loss at St Johnstone.
It was suggested the striker reacted angrily when Cathro criticised his effort levels during the opening 45 minutes at McDiarmid Park and the two had to be separated. But Cathro - who took Johnsen off at the break - gave a watered-down explanation of events in Perth as he met the media ahead of Sunday’s final game of the season at Celtic.
When he was asked to clarify whether the 25-year-old was still part of his plans for next term, Cathro replied cryptically: “I don’t know what time he arrived at today but you would have seen a motivated player who is getting himself ready for one more game which is on Sunday.”
But the Hearts boss did insist the row was not as bad as has been made out.
“Bjorn has trained well today and is available for Sunday,” he stressed. “There is no story around that.
“You hope there are a lot of private things. What I’ve got to say - and forgive me I don’t read everything - what made it out wasn’t actually correct.
“There is no real story. It was incorrect as so far as making it a story.
“I would need to make up another lie to pretend it was a story.”
But Cathro did concede passions flared as his team made their way back to the dressing room a goal down.
“There were a lot of people not happy - myself probably most unhappy with how that first half had developed,” he said.
“There were a lot of bits which were unacceptable.
“It can’t be like that and I think the second half demonstrated that that was taken on board.
“Everybody needs to be consistent in their attitudes and approaches so there isn’t a drop-off. We can’t be rocked, we can’t be shook. We need to be able to deliver and perform consistently.
“That is obviously something we are addressing.”