Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is “very proud” of his players despite losing 1-0 to Celtic at Parkhead last night after an offside goal by Kyogo Furuhashi was somehow missed by the officials – with Neilson believing “poor decision” from the ref and his assistants cost his side the game.

Furuhashi netted from a Tony Ralston cross but replays showed the Japanese striker was clearly offside when the ball was played but the goal was allowed to stand, prompting a furious reaction from Neilson.

Celtic FC v Hearts

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Hearts boss confessed it was a “waste of time” trying to get answers after he attempted to speak to referee Bobby Madden but maintained his players were “exceptional” as Celtic increased their lead in second place.

“I’m very proud of the players and I thought they were exceptional,” Neilson said.

“I felt we didn’t get beaten by Celtic, we got beaten by poor decisions by the referee and linesman.

“We can all laugh and joke about these things. I made a comment after our game at Ibrox and got the book thrown at me, so I can’t say too much about this one.

“But it’s offside. He’s ahead of the ball. The linesman has got to see it. I’ve seen it, everyone would agree. The linesman had a brilliant view.

“I tried to speak to the officials but it’s a waste of time. You end up just getting banned or getting yellow or red cards.

“I’m sure the linesman and referee will have a look at it, they’ll WhatsApp each other and they’ll move on to the next game.”

Referee Bobby Madden further infuriated Neilson when he stopped the game after Celtic’s Jota pulled up with a hamstring injury while Hearts were in possession – with Madden giving the ball back to the Parkhead side after the restart.

Neilson confessed he’d end up in “jail” if he gave his honest opinion, wryly pointing out the game was in Glasgow.

“I’d end up going to jail if I said what I really think about it,” he added.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. The boy pulls his hamstring and the referee stops the game and gives them the ball back when we’re going to counter-attack.

“But that’s Scottish football, you’re in Glasgow.”

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