London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2009-10--> All for 20090830
<-Page <-Team Sun 30 Aug 2009 St Johnstone 2 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Telegraph ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Gavin Mccafferty auth-> Mike Tumilty
[M Davidson 23] ;[M Hardie 93]
6 of 008 Jose Goncalves 59 ;David Obua 86 L SPL A

Hearts winger Suso Santana replaced by manager Csaba Laszlo after spitting row

Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo revealed he took off Suso Santana during the 2-2 draw with St Johnstone over suggestions he had spat towards Danny Grainger.

Gavin McCafferty

The Saints full-back reacted angrily towards the Spaniard during the first half of the eventful Clydesdale Bank Premier League contest at McDiarmid Park.

Laszlo insisted he did not see the incident and no one from St Johnstone publicly accused Santana of spitting at Grainger, but Laszlo admitted the controversy was behind his decision to replace the winger with Arvydas Novikovas in the 60th minute.

"For this I took Suso out of the game," Laszlo said. "Suso is a useful player for 90 minutes to create chances but I must also protect the player and the face of the club.

"We have a big responsibility and we must react, and I also told Christian Nade after the yellow card that he must do what I want. It's our duty to cut down the amount of yellow and red cards we get."

Laszlo, whose club recently received a £50,000 Scottish Football Association fine for their indiscipline, vowed to have a quiet word with the 24-year-old and not issue a heavy punishment.

"Suso is a Spanish player who has a different mentality," Laszlo said. "He is impulsive – the Spanish women are the same. They have power and fire and Suso is the same.

"He will learn, he is a young guy. It is no use punishing aggression with aggression. I will handle the situation."

The incident was not the only controversy during an exciting contest, which Martin Hardie levelled for Saints with a 20-yard free-kick almost three minutes into injury-time.

Nade was booked for diving by referee Mike Tumilty after assistant David Watt signalled for a goal kick when the striker went down under a challenge from Saints keeper Alan Main.

St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes admitted his initial reaction was that his team had conceded a penalty but Laszlo refused to comment on the decision.

"I don't give any answer to the media before I see the pictures on the TV," said Laszlo.

"I have a lot of things to resolve at this club that take a lot of energy and to take the problem of the referee on my shoulders? No thanks.

"Christian told me a lot of things about the incident but this is not for the newspapers."

David Obua looked to have provided some relief to an unusually placid Laszlo, whose judgment was publicly questioned by owner Vladimir Romanov in midweek, with an 86th-minute strike.

But Hardie earned Saints a deserved point after Jose Goncalves had cancelled out Murray Davidson's first-half opener.

McInnes, who lost influential pair Davidson and Dave Mackay to groin injuries, said: "Initially I'm relieved because when you go behind so late you fear the worst.

"My players never gave up and showed a spirit and resolve to get something from the game.

"For Martin Hardie to come off the bench and show the confidence and ability to put the ball into the top corner is great.

"We carried the game to them from the very start and battered a decent Hearts side for long spells. We created numerous chances.

"The thing we need to learn, and learn quickly, in this league is that when you're on top for so long you need to be clinical.

"So overall I'm disappointed we didn't win because I think we deserved more."

Laszlo was pleased with his side's reaction after a poor first half when his defence struggled to cope with the aerial power of Kenny Deuchar and pace of Collin Samuel.

"In the second half there was more football and more movement," he said.

Taken from

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