Robbie Neilson hits back at critics accusing Hearts of diving

first_imgHearts boss Robbie Neilson has hit back at suggestions his team are diving in games – saying the accusations are only because of their strong form in the league.Tony Watt was booked for simulation against Hamilton, while Sam Nicholson was accused of conning referee Craig Thomson to win a second half penalty in the same match.Those incidents came after Jamie Walker was retrospectively banned for two games for diving against Celtic on the opening weekend of the season.But Neilson denies Hearts are gaining a reputation for going down too easily, saying the number of penalty box incidents are down to his team’s attacking intent. He said: “We are a team, especially at Tynecastle, who dominates possession and, with the style of football we play, we have more shots and more penalty-box entries than anyone else in the Premiership.“So we are going to get in situations where we’re one v one with players and opposition players are going to make mistakes with their tackles, so there will be penalties in the games we play.“We just hope the referees aren’t looking back and seeing instances in the past.“We believe we have a good team here – an entertaining team – who are going to go by players in the box.” Asked to explain why he felt Hearts had gathered such attention, Neilson said: “When you win games people are always going to have a nibble at you.“We’ve gone in the space of two or three weeks from being called big physical, aggressive players to now being lightweight and falling down in the box.“So which are we?“That’s what happens when you win football matches.“People ask, ‘Why are they beating us? Why are they sitting second in the league?’“The reason is that we’ve got a good team with good players who get themselves in positions to put people under pressure.”last_img

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