How touchline ban effects Robbie Neilson, Hearts star could miss derby and the Hibs trio pinpointed

Hearts could be without Andy Halliday for the Scottish Cup derby with Hibs on Sunday, but Toby Sibbick is available as manager Robbie Neilson is to take a place in the stand at Easter Road.

The Hearts boss was hit with a two-game touchline ban by the Scottish FA after receiving two yellow cards in the recent 1-0 win over St Mirren at Tynecastle Park. It means he won’t be in the dugout or allowed in the dressing room before the game or at half-time.

"On match day it’s about the players to go out there and perform,” Neilson said. “I’ve no idea where I’ll sit, hopefully in the Hearts end, that would be decent. I’m not really bothered as long as we win, we’ve got good staff here with Gordon and Lee, massive experience in these games already, it won’t be an issue. I knew it would be an automatic ban when I got a yellow card, it kicks in two weeks later. So I knew and I was annoyed about it.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"No, I don't think so," he added when asked if manager’s need to rein it in on the sidelines. “I think there's a balance you need to have between the two. You need to have some passion. It means a lot to everyone, the football club and the fans and the manager as well. If you just sit there and don't move at all, either you don't have the passion for it or you aren't showing it?”

Midfielder Halliday is a doubt for the fourth round clash but Neilson confirmed defender Sibbick trained on Friday. He could come up against an in-form Kevin Nisbet, who has netted seven times in six matches since a long injury lay-off. The Hearts boss noted that there are more threats than just Nisbet his players will have to be wary about. “When we play any opposition we look at their key players and Kevin is a key player for them,” he said. “They’ve got a couple of guys like that, [Aiden] McGeady has come back into form, [Kyle] Magennis – these are guys we need to take care of and make sure the players are ready for it.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.