Jamie Walker said he was relieved to be cleared when his recent yellow card for allegedly diving at Ibrox was rescinded.
But the Hearts winger claimed there was a frustration on the part of players after team-mate Robbie Muirhead was denied a penalty at Tynecastle last weekend after battling to stay on his feet.
Asked if players could be too honest, he agreed that not going down when fouled could sometimes count against them.
“At the game at the weekend, Robbie got into the box and it was probably a penalty but because he stayed on his feet the ref never gave it,” said Walker. “You need to get it right and it’s somewhere in between, where you are not diving but you are doing the best for the team.”
Having been punished for simulation earlier in the campaign, the winger said he was pleased to be vindicated when the same referee mistakenly accused him of a similar infringement at Ibrox in new manager Ian Cathro’s first game in charge.
“I was pleased to see my yellow card rescinded,” he added. “I don’t want to get that bad reputation, which I’ve said before. It was a clear foul, I think anyone could see that. The players on the pitch could see it too. I don’t think they could have come to any other decision. I didn’t really think, ‘here we go again’ because I knew I’d been fouled. But when you’re running at defenders at pace the slightest thing can knock you off balance.”
The 23-year-old has been told to focus on his attacking traits by his new boss, who is slowly but surely imposing his own thoughts on the players he inherited. Denying that has anything to do with the lack of a win in his two games at the helm, Walker says it is the players, not the head coach, who have let fans down with sub-par performances. Fans booed the team off the pitch at home to Partick Thistle and Walker accepts that better is needed at Dens Park tonight as Hearts try to secure some victories ahead of the winter break.
“It doesn’t matter if you are playing Rangers at home or Partick Thistle, your performance level still has to be the same,” said Walker. “They’ve dropped in recent weeks, there’s no doubt about that so we have a point to prove. But the fans pay their money and they are entitled to their say.”
Meanwhile, Dundee midfielder Paul McGowan will return from suspension tonight having missed last Saturday’s defeat at Parkhead after racking up six bookings.
Yordi Teijsse has recovered from illness but Nicky Low – who has been sidelined for most of the season with an ankle complaint – has suffered another setback after sustaining a groin strain while Dens Park boss Paul Hartley is targeting a February return for skipper James McPake after his serious knee injury.