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Page last updated at 19:27 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 20:27 UK

Refs harsh on Hearts says Stewart

Michael Stewart was sent off at Tannadice on Monday
Hearts skipper Stewart was sent for an early bath at Tannadice on Monday

Hearts captain Michael Stewart, sent off at Tannadice on Monday, thinks his team are being harshly treated.

On the day Hearts were handed a £40,000 Scottish Football Association fine for their bad disciplinary record, Stewart said referees are being inconsistent.

"These things happen. All I was trying to do was get the team going," he said.

"I think there were incidents that, were it to have been a Hearts player involved in them, it would have been a different action taken against them."

Stewart's dismissal in Monday's defeat against Dundee United rules him out of this weekend's clash with Rangers.

Ahead of his team's Europa League match with Dinamo Zagreb, Stewart gave his view of the sending-off by referee Steve Conroy.

"I thought we were a wee bit flat and I was trying to put in a tackle or two to get the team going, and unfortunately the ref saw fit to give me two yellow cards," he said.


"The referee is entitled to his own opinion and ultimately that's the one that counts on the pitch."

The £40,000 penalty has been imposed by the SFA's disciplinary committee due to the club's crime count last season, which included 11 red cards.

A further £10,000 has been suspended until January pending good behaviour.

This is the fifth consecutive season Hearts have been punished for their ill-discipline, with the club paying out £40,000 last term.

Vice-captain Marius Zaliukas - who was sent off on four occasions last season - is currently serving a four-match ban.

Hearts had nine players sent off in the 2007/08 campaign.

Tynecastle manager Csaba Laszlo admitted his team must improve their ways.

"Discipline is most important," he said.

"We must look not to get so many yellow and red cards.

"Michael Stewart will have learned his lesson and in the future he will set an example."

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see also
Dundee United 2-0 Hearts
17 Aug 09 |  Scottish Premier
Laszlo to retain captain Stewart
17 Aug 09 |  Hearts

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