Hibs' Ryan Porteous responds to ex-Rangers striker's claims on 'hardman' and criticism while making disrespect comments

Ryan Porteous has had to develop a thick skin as the hullabaloo stirred up in the wake of recent Rangers matches saw him shoved under a spotlight.

Hibs defender Ryan Porteous says some of Kris Boyd's comments are disrespectful to Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson.

There has been more of that scrutiny and criticism this term – some acceptable but much of it personally abusive or simply ill-informed – and while the 22-year-old concedes that has not been easy to deal with, he has dismissed one pundit’s suggestion that he is trying to be a hard man.

But he says he was angered by the way “legends” such as club captain Paul Hanlon and double cup winner Lewis Stevenson were collateral damage as Kris Boyd let fly.

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“It’s not been easy. But all the noise that happens outside I try and ignore, try and block it out. Because, really, it’s irrelevant. That’s not going to change my game or help my game.

“You are never as good as people say you are and you are never as bad as people say you are.

“The gaffer, he keeps reminding me – and it’s not just me – that since I’ve been playing in the team, we’ve finished third, reached two cup finals, had a record number of away wins, a lot of clean sheets.

“But, listen, I don’t need to sit here and defend myself. There are a lot of people in this building who think really highly of me. That’s enough for me.”

In his recent column, Boyd focused on the young Hibs defender.

“I watch the way he conducts himself and it annoys the life out of me,” wrote the former Rangers striker. “He’s a Hibs fan, we get it. He doesn’t like Rangers? Okay, that’s fine. But he’s also a professional footballer and it’s high time he learned to grow up and start acting like one.

“The penny needs to drop with him that acting the hard man and clever in front of the cameras is only going to backfire.

“If he wants to play at Hibs all his days … If he sees himself as the next Paul Hanlon or Lewis Stevenson, then fair enough. But I genuinely believe he’s got the potential to be better than that.”

And, that annoyed Porteous.

“I saw it as very disrespectful to Paul and Lewis, as he tried to say ‘if Ryan wants to be Paul Hanlon or Lewis Stevenson, so be it’.

“They are players who have played almost 1000 games for the club, won three trophies between them. Legends. I feel any young player should aspire to be them.

“Kris Boyd said I was a top player, if you read it properly. He said I was a top player with all the attributes to go to the very top. But I was very disappointed to see that he was saying those kind of things about Paul and Lewis.”

And, as for acting like a hardman?

“I don’t know where he’s got that from. I don’t claim to be hard or anything like that. It’s laughable, really.

“Aggression is part of football, not just being a centre-half. I want my strikers to be aggressive, my wingers, my manager. Aggression is part of the game. It’s not acting hard, it’s just part of the game.

“Obviously you need to control it but I don’t see it as a problem myself.”