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<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John Robertson <-auth Stuart Bathgate auth-> Levan Paniashvili
[D Rosa 30]
20 of 025 ----- E H

Robertson bust-up as Hearts exit UEFA Cup



JOHN Robertson was embroiled in a bad-tempered clash with Ferencvaros coach Csaba Laszlo after his Hearts team had lost 1-0 last night to go out of the UEFA Cup. The Hungarian, who had been sent to the stand in the second half, claimed the Hearts coach had kicked him after he accused the Scottish side of cheating. Robertson denied the accusation.

The rival coaches had to be separated and Robertson was ushered away by a policeman.

"He called my team cheats and stood on my foot, so I got him off my foot," said Robertson, whose side finished bottom of Group A after losing at Murrayfield. "If I kicked him he wouldn’t be standing. He said he felt we weren’t playing fair and giving them the ball back if play was stopped when one of them was down injured."

It had been an ill-tempered match, and five of the Hungarian team were booked. Robertson claimed that one of them, the No88 Daniel Toszer, was actually booked twice - and should therefore have been sent off on the second occasion, a couple of minutes into the second half. Toszer was substituted a minute after being shown the yellow card, and some spectators had got the impression he was also booked in the first half. Others, however, thought the referee had shown the card to Peter Lipcsei.

Laszlo insisted he had been assaulted by Robertson, and said he had complained to the match official to no avail. "I told him that fair play is very important, and he told his players not to give the ball back when one of my players was injured.

"He said I am crazy. I said he is crazy. He came to me and gave my leg a kick. This is not nice - 30,000 people watching and two coaches fighting. I said to the referee: look at this problem. The referee said to me it was not his problem, only maybe if there were two or three more [kicks]."

Laszlo, whose team were also knocked out as Basel beat Ferencvaros in the group’s other game, also claimed there was no problem in his returning to the trackside at the end, and accused Robertson of tactical naivete. "I wanted to congratulate my players," he said. "This is normal. It wasn’t wrong and the referee was OK with it. Maybe my mistake was to say [to Robertson] you from Scotland should learn from the English about fair play. This team do not have international experience and they play very aggressively. This is a good team - maybe with a better coach, who knows?"

Robertson accepted that his team needed to do better in attack - especially after Ferencvaros had opened the scoring after half an hour.

"In the first 25 minutes everything was going fine, but once they got their goal they showed their experience. We have to be more clinical in the last third. We just didn’t get the ball into areas that were going to hurt the opposition.

"We have to settle down now and concentrate on the domestic front. it’s been a very tough group with five quality teams, and you have to congratulate those that have gone through."

Paul Hartley had the ball in the net for Hearts early on, only to have the score ruled out for handball. He insisted, however, that the touch had not been deliberate. "The ball just hit off my arm - I couldn’t get out the way," Hartley said. "It wasn’t intentional and I thought the ref was going to give it. But we had the same referee last week with Scotland Future in Germany and he was terrible."

That decision had to be marginal, as was the Ferencvaros goal, at which Denes Rosa could easily have been ruled offside. "It’s a thin line at times," said a rueful Robertson.

Taken from the Scotsman

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