Five things we learned from the Scottish Premiership

Referee Willie Collum, who sent off a Hearts player at the weekend - as Robbie Neilson had been expecting. Picture: SNS
Referee Willie Collum, who sent off a Hearts player at the weekend - as Robbie Neilson had been expecting. Picture: SNS
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Here are five things we learned from the weekend’s Scottish Premiership action

1. Teams train with 10 men when they realise Willie Collum is the ref

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson revealed he had prepared for playing with 10 men all week after hearing who was in charge of their game at Hamilton. His fears were realised when Callum Paterson was controversially sent off for a challenge on Darian MacKinnon shortly after giving Hearts a 2-1 lead. Neilson is under SFA scrutiny for saying after their 3-2 defeat that there was a high probability of losing a man. But statistics back him up: Collum has sent off four Hearts players in six games.

2. Emilio Izaguirre’s days could be numbered

Days after being dropped for Charlie Mulgrew for Celtic’s Champions League defeat in Malmo, Izaguirre was restored to the left-back slot against St Johnstone. But Michael O’Halloran got round him to provide his fourth assist in five games as Dedryck Boyata scored an early own goal and Celtic paraded new loan signing Tyler Blackett at half-time. The Manchester United defender’s preferred position is left-back.

3. Ross County are four months ahead of last season’s schedule

Ross County took their points tally to 10 with a 2-1 win over Dundee United - they did not reach that total until after Christmas last year. County have come good after New Year following a slow start to each of their three seasons in the top flight, but look set for their best campaign yet.

4. Aberdeen are in Fergie-era form

The Dons equalled their record start to a campaign with their fifth consecutive win, although their 2-0 victory against Partick Thistle carried an element of luck when Adam Rooney handled just before the opener. Aberdeen went on to win the league when they last started with five wins, under Alex Ferguson in 1984-85.

5. Dom Thomas can shine for Motherwell

The 19-year-old stood out on his first start of the season as Motherwell edged Kilmarnock 1-0.

The winger was a constant menace down the left, taking on his man, putting in crosses, and his through-ball would have earned Louis Moult a second goal but for a poor offside decision.