HEARTS received another suspension blow today with the news that Darren Barr is banned for next month’s Edinburgh derby. The 27-year-old was cautioned against Inverness on Saturday for the sixth time in the SPL this season and must now serve a one-match ban at Easter Road in two weeks.
Scottish Football Association disciplinary rules state that six bookings trigger an automatic one-game suspension, which takes effect 14 days after the sixth caution is received. Barr is available for forthcoming league fixtures against St Mirren, Motherwell and St Johnstone but will miss the crucial game with Hibs on Sunday, March 10.
The versatile defender missed last month’s Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final as a result of a red card in the previous round and now finds himself banned again. Hearts are already without several first-team players through injury, including captain Marius Zaliukas, Danny Grainger, Callum Paterson and Jamie Hamill, so Barr’s absence will further compound manager John McGlynn’s selection problems.
Barr has been used mostly in a defensive midfield role this season having excelled there last year under McGlynn’s predecessor, Paulo Sergio. However, his versatility has led to him deputising at right-back and centre-back on occasions. He would have been expected to feature at Easter Road having been a regular starter this season.