By Alan Temple – Capital City Press
HEARTS head coach Robbie Neilson will appear at Hampden today as he seeks to avoid beginning next season’s Premiership campaign with a touchline ban.
The 34-year-old, who led his side to the Championship title by 21 points last term, stands charged with “using offensive, insulting and abusive language” during a 2-2 draw against Rangers at Tynecastle on May 2.
Neilson was ordered to the stand during the feisty encounter after referee Calum Murray took exception to Neilson’s behaviour in the wake of Kenny Miller’s 40th minute goal for the visitors.
His vociferous protests quickly drew the attention of SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan, who served Neilson with a notice of complaint accusing him of breaching disciplinary rule 203.
It is understood Neilson will firmly plead not guilty to the charge and intends to appear at the hearing at the national stadium in person to present his case.
Speaking in the aftermath of the incident, the Jambos boss was keen to emphasise that he had not abused the officials, stating: “It was the first time I’ve been sent to the stand for shouting at an opposition player.”
Should Neilson be found guilty today, his punishment is likely to range between a censure and a two-match touchline ban, with the latter seeing him restricted to a watching brief when Hearts kick off their top flight campaign in August.