Hearts deserve diving reputation, says Tommy Wright

Hearts deserve their reputation for diving, according to St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright.

Tommy Wright believes Hearts players, like Sam Nicholson, "maximise any contact". Picture: SNS

The two teams will go head-to-head tomorrow as the visitors look to go top of the Ladbrokes Premiership prior to Celtic’s clash with Inverness CT on Sunday.

Hearts led the league’s penalty chart last season by some distance with 17 awards and have already been granted five spot-kicks in all competitions this term.

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Wright believes Hearts are able to rack up so many penalties by their tendency to “maximise any contact” and that his players will be ready for it tomorrow.

He said: “I think it’s right that the managers highlight it because it seems to be something which has happened a few times with them.

“Robbie (Neilson, Hearts boss) must be concerned about it. There’s obviously a concern there that maybe they’re getting a reputation.

“They maximise any contact there is between players — and have got it down to a tee. Defenders need to stay on their feet and not allow situations to arise where refs need to make decisions.

“Last week, Tony Watt should have had a penalty. But I can see why it’s not given because it is an exaggerated movement. There’s no contact in the other one. It looks like it but the player has maximised the situation.”