Former Hearts manager Jim Jefferies admits he liked the fiery passion Jamie Hamill brought into games when they worked together.
But Jefferies, who handed the versatile midfielder his debut at Kilmarnock before taking him to Tynecastle in 2011, acknowledges that the 27-year-old overstepped the mark with his bizarre sending-off against Ross County on Saturday.
After breaking the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 65th minute, Hamill sparked a ruckus during his celebrations by refusing to give the ball back and knocking over County manager Derek Adams on the touchline.
Referee Willie Collum was left no option but to brandish a second yellow card, meaning Hamill will now sit out Sunday’s Edinburgh derby at Hibs.
Dunfermline boss Jefferies watched the incident on television and was left shocked by Hamill’s actions.
Jefferies said: “Jamie sometimes has an edge about him. There is a bad side to that but it can also be positive when people play on the edge.
“It’s like a switch that flicks and nobody understands it at times. Maybe the player himself can’t understand.
“He’s got an arrogance about him that is sometimes a good thing on the pitch because he is a winner. Maybe it was something bottled up inside him.
“You wonder whether there had been something that had happened during the game or from before, I don’t know.
“But you can’t get away with that. It has been suggested that nothing else might happen to him and he would be a very lucky boy if that’s the case.
“I think in the cold light of day and looking back, he’ll reflect and know it was a totally silly thing to do.
“To go and grab the ball and do what he did, he’s only asking for trouble. What he has done is gone and got himself suspended for the derby and you need players like Jamie. Hearts have every right to be annoyed.”
Jefferies thought he had seen it all following nearly five decades involved in the sport.
He added: “I’ve seen players run into staff and things like that but I’ve never really seen it done as deliberate as that.
“I’ve seen people have a go back and forward and be over zealous with the celebrations, but nothing quite like that.
“One of the players here said, ‘what if that had been you gaffer?’ I just said I would have got out of his way, I wouldn’t have stood there.”