HEARTS captain Danny Wilson will miss Saturday’s Premiership match at Inverness on Saturday after being found guilty of “foul and abusive language” at the end of his club’s 2-1 win over Aberdeen.
Dons manager Derek McInnes and Hearts assistant manager Billy Brown have been issued with notices of complaint following a confrontation in the technical area.
Remarks by Wilson in the tunnel, allegedly directed at Aberdeen manager McInnes, were overheard by fourth official Iain Brines, who ordered the defender into the referees’ room and told him he would be reported. The report from referee Alan Muir duly arrived at Tynecastle yesterday.
“Danny Wilson was red-carded for foul and abusive language after the match at Tynecastle,” a Scottish Football Association spokesperson confirmed yesterday. “He is suspended for one SPFL league match.”
Hearts cannot appeal against that ruling, but they have appealed against the red card shown to Kevin McHattie in the same match. The left-back was dismissed for conceding a penalty with a tackle on Calvin Zola, but manager Gary Locke reviewed the video evidence and decided it was worth challenging the decision. “We’re going to appeal it,” Locke said yesterday. “Whether we win the appeal or not is a different story, but I certainly felt that he got the ball.”
Locke, whose club is in administration and began the season with a 15-point deduction, revealed that a Hearts supporter had volunteered to pay the fee needed to lodge an appeal, although he explained that had not influenced his decision. “I’ve had a look at Kevin’s sending-off again and I think it was a good tackle. From my point of view, we don’t have a big squad and it is one we will definitely appeal, because I think he gets the ball and I don’t want to lose a player. I certainly wouldn’t appeal against something if I thought the decision was okay. But even at the game I thought it was a good challenge and after watching it several times I’ve not changed my opinion on that.
“There is a cost to lodging appeals and that has to be taken into consideration, but we have had an offer from a supporter to pay it. It just shows you that I’m not the only one who feels aggrieved by the decision and that there are people out there willing to help us. It’s a special offer, but it doesn’t surprise me because the fans have been like that for the last two years.”
Later on yesterday, a spokesperson for Hearts said that the club would not be taking up the offer, and that they would instead fund McHattie’s appeal out of their own resources as usual. That appeal is expected to be held this week, and if it fails the full-back, like Wilson, will miss the visit to Caley Thistle on Saturday. Both men are eligible for tonight’s League Cup game against Raith Rovers, as any suspensions arising from the Aberdeen match apply only to the same competition. There is still a doubt, however, over another member of the back four, Brad McKay, who had to go off with a head knock in the second half.
At the time the centre-half complained of being unable to see properly, but Locke is optimistic that he will be cleared to play at Stark’s Park. “Brad McKay is okay. He had a wee bit of blurred vision, but he reported yesterday and he’s okay. I’m hopeful he’ll be available.”
After Jordan McGhee, who had come on instead of McKay, scored the winning goal for Hearts, McInnes and Brown were sent to the stand following their confrontation. Both men have until 2 September to answer norices of complaint issued by the SFA. Both have been cited for “adopting an aggressive attitude to a member of the opposing team staff.” Brown is also accused of “misconduct by leaving the technical area in the absence of special circumstances.”
“It was a great game – that’s the thing that frustrates me a wee bit,” Locke added. “All right, there was a wee incident with the technical area, but it was something out of nothing.
“It was a great game of football. The two teams played well, both created chances, we had sending-offs, we had penalty incidents, goals – for me it was just a great game to be involved in, and I think it’s important we concentrate on that. Obviously we’re delighted we got the three points. Aberdeen contributed a lot to the game as well, and they’re certainly a team I think will be up there.”