Hearts manager Paulo Sergio defends touchline conduct

Alan Muir sends Alan Muir to the stand
Sergio (right) was sent to the stand by referee Alan Muir at Tynecastle

Hearts manager Paulo Sergio has defended his behaviour after being sent to the stand for dissent in Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at Tynecastle.

Sergio already faces a Scottish Football Association hearing over remarks about referee Iain Brines after the defeat by Ayr in September.

"I hit the bench to exteriorise some feelings that I had," he told Hearts' website after the Kilmarnock match.

"I think everyone can understand what those feelings were."

Hearts had midfielder Ian Black sent off for a tackle on Dean Shiels after only 16 minutes of a Scottish Premier League match settled by the Kilmarnock midfielder from the penalty spot 10 minutes after the break.

The Edinburgh club are refusing to comment in the media about any matter until after Sergio's disciplinary appearance at Hampden on 11 November and he now faces a touchline ban for his latest brush with match-day officials.

With Hearts' official website the only channel of communication, the Portuguese said: "We have to be very careful with what we say.

"I was sent off the bench because I hit the bench. I didn't know it's a rule that I can't hit my bench."

Sergio was pleased with his team's performance against Kilmarnock despite the defeat.

"I'm proud of our players and our supporters can be proud of them too," he said.

"They were great, playing for that amount of time with 10 men. We created a lot of chances to score.

"We needed a little bit more luck and maybe to be a little cooler in our heads."

Sergio was called to appear in front of the SFA after criticising Brines' decision to disallow a goal in Hearts' Scottish Communities League Cup defeat by Ayr United.

He then expressed his disappointment that the referee was named fourth official for their subsequent match against Dunfermline Athletic.

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