Robbie Neilson calls out Rangers time-wasting as Hearts boss claims referee ended match too early

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson was left to question referee John Beaton’s decision to add-on only three minutes following his team’s 1-0 defeat at Ibrox. He claimed it followed time-wasting by Rangers that demanded a more lengthy addition in claiming his players were then pushing for an equaliser.

“I was unhappy with the three minutes at the end,” he said. "When we are holding on for a 1-0 lead you get seven or eight minutes. When you come here it is three minutes. There was a lot of time-wasting towards the end of the game by Rangers, which is something I have not seen here before. But the referee decided he would just look at the substitutions. I thought towards the end of the game we were in the ascendancy, Rangers were time wasting, I was hoping for a bit more."

Although the Tynecastle men offered little to a largely tame encounter, Neilson declared himself content with his players’ effort, admitting they had set out to “nullify” opponents’ whose manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst was under intense pressure following recent results. “I thought we defended very well,” he said. “I thought we were organised, the boys worked very, very hard as you saw from the reaction of our fans at the end of the game. When moments arrive when you come here, you’ve got to take them and we didn’t take them today. So all in all disappointed with the outcome but not the performance.

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“When you come here it is always tough. They are going to have a lot of possession, they are a good team. We had to try and nullify them first and foremost, which I thought we did. For long periods, we didn’t have that final moment, that final pass, that we have had in previous games.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson confronts referee John Beaton at full time after the 1-0 defeat to Rangers at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

“[For their goal in 65 minutes it was] a moment of magic from [Ryan] Kent. He’s a top player, an eliminator in one-on-ones and I thought we handled him very well for 89 minutes of the game and then that one chance, step-overs with a couple of players, then slips it in and they get the goal. That was disappointing but the actual overall performance I thought we played well.”

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