Nick Montgomery says incorrect VAR decisions a ‘punch in the face’ for Hibs

Hibs manager Nick Montgomery during a training session on Friday. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)Hibs manager Nick Montgomery during a training session on Friday. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Hibs manager Nick Montgomery during a training session on Friday. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
SFA review found Hibs to be victims of two wrong penalty decisons

Nick Montgomery described the admission this week that Hibs had been on the wrong end of two errant penalty decisions in the last couple of months as feeling like “another punch in the face”.

The Scottish Football Association released the findings from its independent VAR review panel, who deemed that there had been 10 incorrect calls from incidents involving the technology since the start of February and that the Hibees had been the victims of two of them.

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It was found that Hearts should not have been awarded the penalty from which they equalised in their 1-1 draw with Hibs in February and that Montgomery’s side should have had a spot-kick in their 2-1 home defeat by St Johnstone in April while the match was goalless. Hibs subsequently missed out on the top six by a point.

“Looking at the incidents that came out this week, it’s just like another punch in the face, I’ll be honest,” said Montgomery on Friday. “To have a derby win taken off us, taken off the fans, the boys who put in the effort to win that game, in an incident that everybody knew was wrong on the night…

“For that to come out in a report, when everyone knew it was wrong at the time, it’s unacceptable. The big picture, the big impact it has on seasons and where teams finish in the league…

"Clubs have invested into a VAR system to ensure that we don’t get these decisions wrong in massive games. That is to help the referees.

“So for the VAR to call the referee over in the Hearts game, for instance, to review it – and everybody knows it’s wrong, that really does beggar belief. I think the decisions we’ve had this season, especially in this latter part, have really impacted our season.”

Montgomery said “there’s always a chance” when asked about the prospects of loan pair Bournemouth playmaker Emiliano Marcondes and Hertha Berlin forward Myziane Maolida remaining at Easter Road beyond the end of this season.

“They’re two players who have come and resurrected their careers a little bit,” he said of the key duo who arrived in January. “They’ve really embraced the club and have enjoyed their time here.

“They’re discussions that are ongoing. We have to work within the budget that we have. There’s never a guarantee on anything until a player signs a contract but we’re constantly looking for players that can come in.”

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Montgomery refused to give much away about whether long-serving duo Lewis Stevenson and Paul Hanlon – both of whom are out of contract in the summer – are entering their finals weeks as Hibs players.

“We’ll get to the end of the season and have those conversations,” he said. “You’re talking about two players that are fantastic servants to the club and ultimate professionals.

“They’re probably frustrated in terms of the amount of game time they’ve had this season but they have been great team-mates. The likes of them and a few others who are out of contract at the end of the season, there will be discussions that will happen in the next few weeks.

“Nothing has happened in terms of making 100 per cent decisions but there have been discussions going on and (updates) will be released in the next couple of weeks.”

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