Robbie Neilson bemoans 'more discrepancies with VAR' after Jorge Grant red card in win over Motherwell

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson remains a fan of VAR but has admitted that it is only as good as the men charged with implementing it.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson celebrates at full time after the 3-2 win over Motherwell at Tynecastle. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson celebrates at full time after the 3-2 win over Motherwell at Tynecastle. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

The Gorgie side fell foul of the new technology and had to show quality and character to see out a 3-2 win over Motherwell, despite being down to 10-men for around an hour, after Kevin Clancy sent off Jorge Grant for a foul on Callum Slattery.

That led Neilson, a long-time advocate of video refereeing, to complain about the way it has been utilised since its recent introduction to the Scottish game.

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“I can talk all day about it, it’s just more discrepancies with VAR. Last week we saw it with St Johnstone when the ref gave a red card [to James Brown], VAR asked him to look at it and it was downgraded to a yellow.

“Having seen [Grant’s challenge] again, and even at the time, I didn’t think it was a red card. Kevin thought he was high and out of control and reckless. When you look at it, he’s definitely not high because he is on the ground, his studs are down. There is going to be some kind of velocity when you make a tackle, that’s part of football. I don’t think it ticked the boxes that he thought it did, I’d have liked him to look at it again.

“My belief is we’ve got VAR there for a reason and I think there was an opportunity to look at it again. I think if he sees it he changes his mind.

“I think there are a lot of discrepancies that need to be tidied up. Hopefully we can get to the World Cup break and they can have some kind of review of it and maybe tidy things up.

“I think VAR is really good, I think how it is implemented is the problem, the people watching it. Looking at the penalty with Craig Gordon, look at the real details of it, when the player plays the ball, yes they come together, but the spin of the ball changes so Craig gets a touch on the ball, hence he makes the save. But the people watching VAR don’t understand that, you have to look at the ball not just the player and the goalkeeper.”

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