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<-Page <-Team Wed 13 Apr 2005 Hearts 1 Hibernian 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John Robertson <-auth Paul Kiddie auth-> John Rowbotham
[G O'Connor 68] ;[D Shiels 73]
14 of 018 Lee Miller 39 L SPL H

Criminal' defending cost us victory, admits Robertson


HEARTS boss John Robertson today blamed "criminal" defending for the defeat against Hibs which has left the Jambos’ Euro hopes hanging by a thread.

The Tynecastle outfit had appeared on course for victory after Lee Miller’s ninth goal since joining on loan in January saw the home side have the advantage at the interval. Two goals from the visitors in the space of five minutes after the break, however, turned the game on its head and left Hearts with a mountain to climb to claim third spot in the SPL.

Fifth-placed Hearts now trail their arch rivals by a daunting eight points with just six games left to play - they are also four behind Aberdeen - and Robertson admitted today they only have themselves to blame.

Robertson said. "Up until Hibs scored I couldn’t see us conceding as we had been solid at the back. Poor defending cost us, though. Steven Pressley has put his hand up at the first goal and said he could have done better. Hibs got a break when Jason Thomson, who I thought was magnificent, saw his clearance cannon off Dean Shiels into Garry O’Connor’s path."

There were also serious question marks over the hosts’ rearguard at the winner, the Hearts back line failing to react to Konte’s header which came back off the post.

"Having got the break for the equaliser, Hibs capitalised and got a second," said Robertson. "We defended poorly when a ball came into the box and their big lad Konte had a free header. We then compounded that by not defending the rebound and that was criminal."

The Gorgie outfit now face a formidable task to keep alive their Euro dream, UEFA Cup qualification no longer in Hearts’ own hands after last night’s setback, but Robertson insists he hasn’t given up hope of third spot.

"It’s a huge task for us to now but we will keep going," he said. "We still have to go to Easter Road. I won’t be giving up and I am damn sure my players won’t be either."

Hearts’ pain was compounded by news that Jamie McAllister, booked in the second half for clattering Simon Brown, is set to be hit by a one-game ban. The yellow card took him through the disciplinary points threshold and the former Aberdeen and Livingston star will now miss his side’s second game after the SPL split on the weekend of April 30/31.

Paul Hartley was forced out of the action midway through the second half, prompting concerns that the in-form midfielder may miss the trip to Tannadice to take on Dundee United on Saturday.

However, Robertson believes the club’s top scorer will have shaken off the knock to face Gordon Chisholm’s rejuvenated side.

Hearts Under-19s, meanwhile, continue their push for the league title against Livingston at Riccarton tomorrow, kick-off 1.30pm.

Taken from the Scotsman

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