Hearts defender Igor Rossi is counting the cost of his ‘stupid’ red card after learning that he will miss the eagerly-awaited Scottish Cup clash with city rivals Hibs.
And head coach Robbie Neilson admits he will have to oversee a major defensive reshuffle with both Rossi and centre half Blazej Augstyn suspended for this weekend’s trip to Inverness.
Versatile Brazilian defender Rossi let his team down during Sunday’s goal-less draw at Hamilton when he left referee Bobby Madden with no option but to send him off for a two-footed lunge on Darren Lyon five minutes before the break.
Hearts captain Alim Ozturk offered no sympathy after the match when he branded the challenge ‘stupid’.
The nature of the red card means that Rossi must serve the ban in Hearts’ next two matches, meaning he will miss the mouth-watering cup clash with Hibs on February 7 as well as the Caley match.
Polish defender Augustyn will also serve a one-game suspension in the Highlands after picking up a sixth yellow card of the campaign in the recent 6-0 thrashing of Motherwell.
Neilson said: “It’s disappointing, we obviously knew that Blazej was going to be out but with Igor getting suspended it makes it difficult.
“We take the red card and we accept it.
“That’s the reason we’ve got a squad, we’ll put a team together and hopefully go up there and get three points.
“We’ve got two big games now so we have to start focussing on that.”
Neilson denied in the wake of the Accies clash that his side has a disciplinary problem after Rossi became the sixth Hearts player to be sent off this season, albeit Callum Paterson had his red card downgraded to a yellow following last August’s defeat at New Douglas Park.
But Prince Buaben has become the latest player to incur a suspension after the midfielder collected his sixth Premiership booking of the campaign on Sunday.
The former Dundee United playmaker will serve a one-match ban in the rescheduled February 10 clash at Ross County.