Hearts midfielder Scott Robinson has accused manager Gary Locke of “picking” on him after being replaced at half-time for the second successive game at the weekend.
Robinson has confessed to deserving his early substitution in the 0-0 draw with Dundee United 11 days ago, describing his performance as “really poor” before he made way for Callum Tapping.
However, the 21-year-old appears to be harbouring a feeling of injustice over his consecutive interval finishes following Locke’s decision to remove him in favour of Billy King in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat by St Mirren.
Robinson, who has started every match for Hearts this season, was the victim of a tactical switch by the Gorgie outfit as they sought to turn around a 1-0 half-time deficit against the Buddies.
But the frustrated youngster, who was forced to apologise to then manager John McGlynn last season after apparently refusing to take his place on the bench for a match against Aberdeen, admits his confidence has been sapped by Locke’s recent decisions.
He said: “I put my hand up and admit that last week (against Dundee United) I wasn’t in the game at all. I made a few errors and it was one of those days for me. I was really poor in that game. On Saturday there, I think it was a case of ‘I’ll just pick on him again and take him off’.
“I didn’t think I was the poorest out of the midfield four. It’s just been me on the day. Obviously, my confidence is really low now again. It’s just the case that, if things are going wrong, I probably know that it will be me coming off. That’s just the way it is.
“I just need to hope things are going well for the team or I’ll be first to come off. I’ve just got to try and be as positive as I can and, I suppose, believe in myself. If it’s not going well for the team, I can’t be the one to have a good game just by myself.
“We need to play well as a team and, if we aren’t, I just feel that I’ll be the one to come off. I admit I was by far the worst last week, but I didn’t think I was the worst on Saturday.”
Robinson was also critical of Hearts’ style of play at the weekend, arguing their long-ball game played into the hands of St Mirren in a match that left the troubled Gorgie outfit marooned ten points away from Kilmarnock at the bottom of the Premiership table.
After the youngster’s recent outburst, it remains to be seen what repercussions, if any, the club will take against him.