THE misguided manager who claimed a player would have to be “decapitated” to get a Celtic player red carded has been axed.

Robbie Neilson made the ludicrous comments in the aftermath of Hearts’ 3-1 Premiership defeat Parkhead last month.

It could be said the Tynecastle gaffer lost the head following the disappointment of watching his side lose a lead to the champions and reacted without too much reflection.

Neilson will be a lot more dismayed today after being sacked by the Edinburgh club as he paid the ultimate price for a miserable run of five consecutive defeats.

UPS AND DOWNS…Robbie Neilson (extreme right) can hardly bear to look as Ange Postecoglou watches on as Celtic are on their way to a 3-1 at Parkhead last month.

The loss in the east end of Glasgow was part of that sequence and after that setback Neilson launched a bizarre verbal assault on referee Alan Muir following a challenge from Alexandro Bernabei on Nathaniel Atkinson that escaped punishment.

VAR assistant Nick Walsh also took no action and the Gorgie gaffer insisted it was a game-changing moment. He ranted: “Usually when you come to Parkhead, you need decapitation before they get a red card against them.

“It wasn’t to be. It was nearly a leg off. My opinion he’s got to at least book him.”

Ange Postecoglou’s men added to the rival manager’s woes when they knocked Hearts out of the Scottish Cup three days later in the capital, dismissing them 3-0 with goals from Aaron Mooy, Kyogo Furuhashi and Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Neilson, 42, was in second stint in charge at Tynecastle, but was handed his P45 after a home loss to St Mirren at the weekend that allowed Aberdeen to leapfrog them into third place.

ON THE BAWL…Robbie Neilson yells instructions to his Hearts players while Ange Postecoglou watches as Celtic dump the Edinburgh side out of the Scottish Cup win a 3-0 win at Tynecastle last month. 

The club issued a statement stating: “Heart of Midlothian Football Club can confirm that it has parted company with manager Robbie Neilson. We’d like to thank Robbie for all of his efforts.”

Neilson was in charge of the team, then in the Championship, when they faced Celtic in the Covid-delayed Scottish Cup Final at Hampden in December 2020 which ended in a 3-3 draw after extra-time.

The Hoops, of course, sealed the phenomenal quadruple treble when Kristoffer Ajer thrashed the deciding penalty-kick past former team-mate Craig Gordon.

Neil Lennon was the Hoops boss that day, of course, but he departed Parkhead two months later following a 1-0 loss to Ross County in Dingwall as a season that promised so much in the summer disintegrated in despair.

Former Celtic skipper Paul Lambert has already been mentioned as a possible replacement for Neilson.


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