Web reporter Martin McConnell caught up with Greg & Dougie after Saturday’s draw…
Tynecastle has been a tough place for Accies. Before the game a draw might have been considered a good result, but are you disappointed not to have taken all three?
“Yes, we’re very disappointed. That’s two points dropped for us today. Again, we’ve come from 1-0 down after a great goal from them. It’s just frustrating that we’ve given them that opportunity to score a goal, because apart from that they’ve had nothing. I think that we’ve defended our penalty area brilliantly, and apart from maybe the first fifteen minutes of the second half, we actually played some good football. Even with them having eleven men, we were dominant. It’s frustrating that we’ve dropped two points, but we’ll take a point.”
Did you see the sending off incident?
“Well I was quite close by and I think that it was a yellow card. I don’t think Tony’s like that, but for me from where I was standing, it looked like he did catch him. The referee was quick to make a decision, so he obviously knew what was happening.”
The big talking point is the incident between Darian and Austin, did you see what happened?
“There was absolutely nothing in that at all. People are just trying to make something out of nothing. I think they were maybe trying to even things up a little bit after targeting him, but that’s just the type of game that Darian plays. But as I said, people are just trying to make the most of nothing.”
It looked like a bit of a battle on the pitch at times, especially in the second half.
“Yes, it was a very stop start game. It was frustrating to actually get going with the momentum of the game. You felt that you were just getting a few passes in and the game would get stopped. Again, it’s always a tough place to come at the best of times.”
Just like at Ibrox a fortnight ago, did you sense that the frustration of the fans was getting to the players? Can you use it to lift your game?
“Yes, you do sense that in a game and you’ve got to try and capitalize on that in a game. I think that they were really nervy towards the end and I don’t really know why we’ve not scored. We were on top of them and the Hearts fans were a loud bunch, but they were against a team today and we should have done better.”
Another quiet afternoon?
“I thought it was enjoyable, it’s always a good place to come and play with the fans on top of you. The atmosphere is going to be electric, but I thought it was a good game to be perfectly honest.”
“Aye, it was a good old battle wasn’t it? An old-fashioned game with two teams going at it. And I thought that with them going down to ten men, we were disappointed not to win the game because we had a lot of chances. Their keeper I thought was excellent, he pulled off some world class saves and kept his team in the game.”
Christophe Berra was saying that he spent half his energy calming people down, did it feel crazy around you at times?
“I think it was more stupidity than anything, I was probably the same trying to calm a couple of my players down. I thought the referee handled it well, he had a lot of incidents to deal with and I thought he handled it really well. He took his time and he chose the right option that he thought was correct. I think people get involved that needn’t get involved in situations, but for us, just disappointed that we didn’t pick up the three points today.”
Did you see the incident where Antonio was elbowed?
“From my point of view, the kid’s naive in the first tackle on myself. He doesn’t really need to dive in. I passed him, he dives in and he takes me out and gets a booking. I didn’t see the second one, but someone outside said that it was an elbow to the face. I’m sure the referee has seen it and got it right, so I can’t really comment sorry.”
Martin felt that the wrestling match between Austin and Darian, it was McPhee that was very much involved. He shielded the ball and seemed to think he pulled Darian on top of him, what was your view on that? Then the aftermath.
“To be honest, I was on the other end of the pitch. If the gaffer has said that, he’s obviously standing right next to the incident and got a better view than me. I think afterwards with everyone getting involved, it’s needless. I think from Hearts point of view, they’re down to ten men and Darian’s on a booking, so maybe they’re trying to get Daz to react to get him a second yellow and sent off as well. You can understand, they’re trying to look out for their own team and make things even again. But, I think a lot of people got involved that didn’t need to and maybe blew things out of proportion a wee bit.”
Did you trot over for a wee look?
“No. I just came over to get players out of the road. What’s the point in getting involved. Let the referee deal with it and let his assistants deal with it and move on. Maybe ten years ago I might have been in the middle of it, but not now. It’s just experience. What’s the point in getting involved, the referee is not going to change his mind. So, if you just get in there, something could happen, you may end up getting booked and if you’re on a yellow you’re off. So, what’s the point? Just let them deal with it, get on and we move on.”
Christophe Berra felt that the referee lost the game, how did you feel that the referee handled the game?
“I just said that he did well there. They’ve probably just got sour grapes. He has been sent to the stand, and Austin has been sent to the stand and they’ve dropped two points. Maybe on another day we could be in that situation and could be saying the same thing. I think that he handled it well with the situations that he had to deal with.”
Do you think that Darian came off because he might react to something?
“I think that Daz gets a lot of bad press at times. He’s a good guy and he goes about his business in the way that he does, he’s fully committed and gives his all for the club. I think that people maybe think that with him being on a yellow, he might have been an easy target to wind-up and get sent off too make the teams fair again. I think Daz, well I can’t really comment because I didn’t see it, but if the gaffer said that he didn’t really do much, then that’s all that I can go by.”
With recent results, do you think that you’re now going in the right direction?
“Well that’s six games you know, it’s positive. But I think we would obviously have liked to have picked up more wins and some more points. We can’t grumble as we’re now six unbeaten after going six on the losing side of that. So, for us it’s a great turn around and long may it continue. We’ve got a lot of teams coming up around us, so we need to start making those draws into wins if we can.”
There seemed to be a few words between you and Christophe at the end when you were coming off.
“Just a little bit of handbags, nothing much in it. Just one of those things, the end of the game and our tempers and emotions are running high. There was nothing in it for me.”
Was it about anything specific?
“No, I can’t even remember. I think he was having a go at the ref and I told him to leave it, what’s the point. I don’t know, something like that anyway.”
Christophe called you an ‘angry wee man’.
“He’s probably right. I’m not always angry but maybe that time I was. After the game I’m just a happy wee guy, but on the pitch, I can come across as the angry wee guy. Nah, it was just handbags for me, but I really enjoyed the game today. It was a really good game. Just disappointed not to get the win.”