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Hearts boss Robbie Neilson: No point appealing against touchline ban

Robbie Neilson File Photo
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson admits he was disappointed with his touchline ban but felt it was pointless challenging it.

Neilson will be suspended for the next three matches after being sent off at Ibrox last weekend.

The former Hearts defender was shown a yellow card after calling for Rangers midfielder Juninho Bacuna to be sent off for grabbing Stephen Kingsley by the throat, and immediately shown another after sarcastically applauding referee Don Robertson.

Neilson accepted the offer of a one-match suspension from the Scottish Football Association, which automatically triggered a two-game ban suspended from last season after he received a four-match ban in total for confronting referee John Beaton following a game against Raith Rovers.

The former Dundee United boss will have to sit in the stand when Dundee visit Tynecastle on Saturday.

On the ban, Neilson said: “I’m disappointed with it to be honest but I would rather it was me that got sent off than one of the players, and generally when you go to Ibrox or Parkhead something like that is going to happen.

“We have just got to move on from it, there is not much point appealing it. I appealed the last one and it went to a two (match ban) plus two (suspended). Sometimes you just need to take it.

“It’s a home game so will have a big crowd behind us and the players will be fine. Lee McCulloch and Gordon Forrest can deal with it. You can communicate, you just can’t be within two metres of the pitch.”

Neilson expects Saturday’s game to have an edge, especially with the return of fans to the fixture.

Hearts recorded two victories to Dundee’s one in their Championship meetings last season, which came in the wake of the Tayside club’s crucial and controversial role in the vote that ultimately sealed the Edinburgh club’s relegation.

“Probably at the start of the season, the two teams were expected to compete at the top of the table,” Neilson said.

“When you have that, there is always going be an edge in the game, and I expect, also with the historic stuff, it will be like that on Saturday.

“I think it will be a good game, I don’t know about fiery. We will have 17,500 there so they will be backing us to the hilt. It’s up to us to put in a performance and get three points.

“We had a couple of games against them last year but there were no fans there. When the fans come back, the fans will make the noise, and I’m sure they will on Saturday.”

Craig Halkett’s late equaliser at Ibrox last weekend has given Hearts the chance to top the table on Saturday night.

“We spoke about it after Ibrox, knowing that Rangers don’t play until Sunday. It gives us a chance to put a wee marker down,” Neilson said.

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