John Hughes urges referee not to award soft Hearts penalty

Hughes urged referee Alan Muir not to be intimidated by the Tynecastle crowd. Picture: SNS
Hughes urged referee Alan Muir not to be intimidated by the Tynecastle crowd. Picture: SNS
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John Hughes has urged referee Alan Muir to stand up to the pressures of “intimidating” Tynecastle and not award the hosts any soft penalties when his Inverness CT side travel to Hearts tonight.

Hearts were granted their 11th and 12th spot-kicks in home matches this season when they defeated Kilmarnock 1-0 on Saturday. Jamie Walker’s penalty was saved by Jamie MacDonald before the winger netted at the second attempt, while Abiola Dauda also saw his effort repelled by the Killie goalkeeper.

Hughes has studied the match footage and doesn’t think either penalty should have been awarded. The Caley Thistle boss is concerned similar misfortune will befall his team during tonight’s contest.

He told the Press & Journal: “The number of penalties awarded alarms me and having watched the two they got against Kilmarnock on Saturday I’m not sure either one should have been given. The game is hard enough and the officials have to get those decisions right.

“Tynecastle is an intimidating place to go and we will need a strong referee.”

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