Johnson slams 'disrespectful' Naismith as four sent off in wake of Hearts and Hibs rammy

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Hibs manager Lee Johnson branded Hearts counterpart Steven Naismith ‘disrespectful’ in the wake of an incident-packed final Edinburgh derby of the season that saw four red cards dished out following a mass brawl at the final whistle.

Yutaro Oda’s eighth-minute strike for the hosts was cancelled out when Kevin Nisbet scored from a free kick after Alex Cochrane had been sent off for fouling Chris Cadden. But despite the man advantage, Hibs were unable to find a second goal and the three points that would have seen them leapfrog Hearts into fourth.

Johnson had already been cautioned for entering the Hearts technical area during the game – with a hot water bottle thrown at him as he made his way back to his own dugout – but he was sent off after the match by referee Don Robertson, with unused subs Rocky Bushiri of Hibs and Hearts’ Ross Stewart, as well as Hearts goalie coach Paul Gallacher also seeing red.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Speaking afterwards, Johnson claimed he ‘couldn’t even tell’ what happened after the final whistle – but it appeared to start when the two managers clashed as they shook hands on the touchline

Lee Johnson clashed with Steven Naismith after the gameLee Johnson clashed with Steven Naismith after the game
Lee Johnson clashed with Steven Naismith after the game

“It was a case of two managers who don't like each other very much and that's what started it. It was a classic 'my dad's bigger than your dad' melee-type thing. There was a bit of needle but it happens; technical areas are a passionate place. It's not a problem, we move on. I've been a manager that long, you see it all in the technical area. It means nothing,” the Hibs boss said.

Asked about the ‘needle’ between the two managers, Johnson alluded to his friendship with ousted Jambos boss Robbie Neilson, adding: “[Naismith] has had seven games as a manager and I just think the way he speaks is disrespectful to the previous manager. We'll see after 250 games if he's lucky enough to still be in charge of any club, and if he still has that attitude.”

On the game, Johnson said: “It was a scrappy game which you'd expect in a derby. We had some good chances – Lewis Miller's header in the first half, Will Fish hitting the post in the second. We had the chances but not enough. The boys looked for the golden ball too much. I was disappointed with our subs in terms of individual quality when they came on.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"They've got quality but we didn't do enough in terms of finding that moment to allow runs of attacks, and then we allowed them to waste time, the ballboys were slow, their 'keeper was walking. Fair play to them, that's their game management.”

Johnson is also gearing up for a busy summer in terms of recruitment – with ‘ins and outs’ predicted.

"I'm proud of the second half of the season. If I look at the big picture now of where we are compared to where we were, we're in a fantastic place to progress. I will make changes over the summer – there will be ins and outs. We've got the summer to build that 30 per cent within the squad that we're after - a bit more quality, change the dynamic a little bit, freshen the group up and then we go again.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.