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Men's Football Levein rejects claim Hearts were ‘overly physical’ in Edinburgh derby

HEARTS boss Craig Levein yesterday played down Neil Lennon’s suggestion that his side were overly physical in the Edinburgh derby.

Hibernian manager Lennon said that Hearts “kicked us off the park” during the goalless draw at Tynecastle and claimed Jamie Walker should have been sent off for a series of fouls.

Levein has played down the comments however, and suggested the brutal nature of the game — which saw several players injured on both sides — was merely because it was a local derby.

“Lenny forgets that I saw him play,” Levein joked. “There were a lot of times he should have been sent off, let me tell you!

“It’s a derby match. Neil came in after the game, we sat and had a chat and funnily enough he never mentioned anything about it.

“The next game will be the same.”

He added: “You saw two sets of players giving everything and the thing that suffered most was the football.

“I’ve said this on numerous occasions, in derby matches I can count on one hand in all the time I’ve been involved, the number of good games.

“Generally it’s just a scrap for 90 minutes.

“Generally in the SPL [Scottish Premiership] it dies down after about half an hour, but it [the derby] is not one for the purists.”
 

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