Michael Weir: Ryan Porteous should seek the advice I was given as a rash young Hibs player
Hibs’ performance on Sunday was their best at Ibrox for a number of years, which makes the Ryan Porteous sending off all the more frustrating.
We’ll never know if Hibs would have gone on to win the game, but there’s no doubt it was a turning point and a massive blow to the players at a stage when they were ahead and controlling the game.
I have no issues with the decision – I thought it was a red card. It was just rash and it wasn't needed. I don’t think he meant to cause any harm to Joe Aribo, it was just a solid challenge, but unfortunately he's made the referee's mind up for him. In front of 50,000 home fans, there was no way that he wasn't going to send him off.
It handed Rangers the impetus but even after that I still felt we were capable of holding out or at least getting something from the game.
I think Ryan has got to be led better and look to the likes of Lewis Stevenson and Paul Hanlon as examples. The reason they’ve managed to rack up so many appearances for Hibs is because their temperament is spot on. He’s got to take advice from the senior players. I certainly had it in my time.
I was a bit hot-headed at times and could do stupid things as a young man, including a few needless red cards. I made mistakes but the conversations I had with the likes of Bobby Smith definitely put me on the right road. He was a great player, a great man and a great leader for me.
There was one time I went flying into a tackle against Celtic and had a bit of a go at someone and Bobby pulled me aside. He said, ‘calm yourself down, show more composure and concentrate on playing football’. He said, ‘that’s part of your game you need to change because you’ve got ability but poor temperament will hold you back. Don’t let that become a major hurdle for you’. He was right and I took it on board. I always had a side of me that was desperate to win, but it definitely stuck with me and made me think about the game more, rather than just going hell for leather, flying into tackles and trying to do things I shouldn’t. These conversations with experienced pros are so important for young players and Ryan is at the stage where he needs to be given advice, but he also needs to take it.
I don’t mind the competitiveness. I would never want to take that out of any player. It's just knowing the right times and having the composure to take a deep breath in moments like that. To be fair, I’ve said it umpteen times, he's a 22-year-old centre-half who is playing every game, every week.
We’re putting a lot of burden on a young man who is still learning the ropes in senior football and it can start to show in your decision-making. There comes a point at that age when you’ve got to be taken out of the side and given a rest because it takes a toll, and it eventually will show. Hopefully he learns from it and moves on from it.