BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
CRAIG LEVEIN has described Hearts’ chastening 5-0 defeat against Livingston as ‘embarrassing’ and ‘unacceptable’, insisting their woeful display made the Lions look like Paris Saint-Germain.
The Jambos boss pulled no punches after watching his side utterly capitulate during a nightmare 14-minute spell at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal rashly conceded a penalty after 72 minutes when his indecisiveness in coming for a loose ball resulted in the Czech stopper barrelling into Craig Halkett. The Livi skipper dusted himself off to break the deadlock from 12 yards.
Arnaud Djoum was subsequently dismissed for a second bookable offence before the capital club seemed the throw in the towel, shipping another four goals courtesy of Dolly Menga, a Ryan Hardie brace and Shaun Byrne.
A visibly stunned Levein said: “It was horrible. It was embarrassing. I just didn’t see it coming.
“We lose Arnaud [Djoum], which I thought was harsh – but that is not what led to us losing five goals. That was down to us capitulating. We made them look like Paris Saint-Germain at times!
“Some people went into their shell and started looking after themselves.
“I’m embarrassed about the whole thing. What’s important is I give the fans assurances that this doesn’t happen again. And that’s what I’m doing because that just wasn’t acceptable.”
While no Hearts players emerged from a miserable night in West Lothian with their pride in tact, Levein was particularly forceful in his criticism of Zlamal.
He added: “Bobby [Zlamal] has spent far too long making his mind up whether to come for the ball and paid the penalty.
“As a player, when you see somebody doing something like that, you think it’s hard enough without somebody contributing to helping the opposition – which is exactly what Bobby did.
“He had two or three in first half he could have caught but punched. He had an off-night and that crept into two or three other players. It does put you off when you see that.”