Robbie Neilson left cursing decisions he says cost Hearts points against Hibs as he gives John Souttar injury update

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson was left lamenting referee Don Robertson’s failure to award a first-half penalty following the goalless Edinburgh derby at Easter Road.

Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 10:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 11:47 pm

Ellis Simms appeared to be barged off the ball by the home defender Lewis Stevenson, but Robertson ignored Hearts’ appeals. He also rejected claims Ryan Porteous used a hand to stop Stephen Kingsley’s second-half free-kick.

Neilson chose his words carefully at full-time. “They had a couple of chances, we had some good chances. Both teams failed to take them. It was scrappy, quite enteraining but not a lot of quality,” he said.

“I spoke to the ref [about the Simms-Stevenson incident] and he gives me his excuse for not giving it. I think when he sees it he willl agree witth the vast majority.”

Robbie Neilson issues instructions during the Edinburgh derby.

Stevenson had already been booked and would have been facing a red card had Robertson awarded a penalty. “It would have been a red and in my opinion he [Robertson] has made a big mistake.

“In real time I thought 100 per cent right away – movement of the ball, movement of the players and it’s penalty kick. I’ve said enough previously and got sent off at Ibrox. It might have happened again if I didn’t keep my mouth shut.

“It’s a handball as well [against Porteous]. The referee said he saw the handball and in his opinion the arm was close enough to the body not to give it. I disagree.”

A late goalline block by Toby Sibbick denied Josh Campbell a winning goal for Hibs. “You aren’t surprised but it should be irrelevant because the decision should be made earlier on,” added Neilson.

“We’ve had terrible decisions at Auchinleck, offside decisions at Celtic, then those two tonight. It’s cost us points tonight. But we are still 12 points clear of Hibs, we’re aiming up the wait and trying to get close to Rangers and Celtic.”

The Hearts manager provided an update on John Souttar who missed the derby. “He’s got a couple of screws in his ankle from a previous injury. He got a good whack on it on Saturday there so we will see how it is.

“If it settles down then he’ll be fine for Sunday against Rangers. If it doesn’t, then I thought the other guys in defence did well tonight.”

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