Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has given his backing to Andy Halliday after he was shown a red card 18 minutes from the end as the Jambos slipped to their first league defeat of the season at Aberdeen.
Halliday was ordered off after a late lunge on Lewis Ferguson and Neilson remains unconvinced his man deserved his marching orders – although he confessed that Halliday’s challenge on the Aberdeen midfielder gave Clancy a decision to make.
The Hearts boss confirmed he wouldn’t be appealing the red, insisting there is “no point” in trying to fight it with the Scottish FA.
“At the time I didn’t think it was a red card,” Neilson said.
“He comes across and it’s not high, he mistimes it yes, but these days with referees you ask them a question.
“It’s in front of the crowd, they get going and it’s a red card.
“We’re not going to appeal it, there’s no point. I’ve not been in the dressing-room to speak to Andy.”
Neilson himself was serving the third and final game of a touchline ban and the Hearts boss rubbished suggestions his side have hit a bad run of form while he’s been in the stands.
The Jambos have failed to win any of the three games he was forced to watch from the stands, drawing two and losing the other, and Neilson is looking forward to getting back in the dugout next weekend.
“It’s important to get back on the touchline,” he added. “I’ve missed it. We’ve drawn two and lost one, so I am looking forward to get back down.
“Bad run? We’re second in the league.
“I’m disappointed, we have had a brilliant start to the season, go 1-0 up and then drop three points. We need to move on to Dundee United next week.
“In any game, if you don’t create clear-cut chances it’s a frustration. I don’t think there were many chances within the game, it was stuffy.
“We nullified each other to an extent. We just didn’t get to the levels we’ve been at, that’s the bigger disappointment.”
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