Paul Hanlon has revealed he has advised Ryan Porteous to rein himself in because Hibs cannot afford to be without him.
The Hibs centre-half was red carded for a lunge at Rangers left-back Borna Barisic on Friday night and will miss the Boxing Day clash with Hearts as well as possibly Livingston this weekend.
It is his second red card this season. Veteran Hanlon, meanwhile, has only been sent off once – for a handball offence against Inverness Caledonian Thistle nine years ago – in over 400 games.
“I spoke to him [Porteous] and said in this day and age you can’t really tackle like that,” said Hanlon. “It gives the referee a chance to show the cards and it’s not just the outcome of this game, it’s the games we are going to miss him for. He has been performing well for us so he will be a big miss.”
Hanlon reported that Porteous had little to say following the game but a few of his teammates tried to help him recover from the experience.
“A few of the boys spoke to him,” he said. “He is a young boy, aggressive, whole-hearted defender and he is obviously desperate to do well for the club. It’s one of those ones, he’ll learn from it. The biggest disappointment is, not in terms of this game because it didn’t affect it, but in terms of games coming up he’s going to miss are big games for us.”
Porteous has already had to endure sitting out a showpiece game when he was on the sidelines for the Betfred Cup semi-final against Celtic at Hampden in November after being sent off in the quarter-final win over Kilmarnock.
“They are big games,” said Hanlon. “He’s a young boy and has played a lot of big games already – they are the ones you show what you are made of.”
Darren McGregor’s return from a groin injury is timely but the defender cannot possibly be expected to be up to speed in time for the Edinburgh derby. He returned to action for the first time since August in the last 25 minutes of the 3-0 defeat by Rangers.
“Daz has worked hard in the gym to get himself back fit,” added Hanlon. “He has had to persevere in the gym and work really hard. All credit to him for his mental strength and resilience. He will be back in top condition, good to see him back around the squad.”