BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson insists he will not hold a grudge against Willie Collum after he was found guilty of implying “bias or incompetence” towards the much-maligned official.
Neilson was hauled over the coals at Hampden on Thursday following his comments about the controversial official in the aftermath of the Jambos’ 3-2 defeat against Hamilton in August.
He was handed a two-match ban, suspended for the rest of this season, after revealing in a post-match interview that his side had trained for the encounter with 10-men in anticipation of Collum’s disciplinarian style.
A three-person panel at the national stadium upheld the charge of “indicating bias or incompetence” – but Neilson is adamant there will be no ill-feeling the next time Collum is assigned a Hearts fixture.
Speaking for the first time since the hearing, the Tynecastle boss said: “We’re disappointed in the outcome but the panel make their decision and we have to accept it.
“There’s no issue [with Collum] at all. From my point of view, it’s done and dusted. What was said at the time was said.
“It’s been dealt with by the SFA and we move on. It was a fair hearing. You go there and it’s three independent people so there’s no issue from that point of view.”
And Neilson was keen to emphasise that his recent disciplinary hearing will not alter his style when fulfilling his media duties.
He continued: “If the press ask me [a question], I’ll tell you. I’ll always try to answer it as best I can.”