RAGING Robbie Neilson claimed Jamie Walker was fortunate not to be badly injured during Hearts’ 3-3 draw with Hamilton at New Douglas Park last night.
The Tynecastle boss was fuming after a challenge from Accies midfielder Ali Crawford felled his player late in the game.
Crawford was booked for the tackle, but Neilson believed it should have been dealt with more harshly and went to see referee Steven MacLean after the game.
The Jambos chief said: “I thought it was a terrible tackle and there’s no place for it.
“We’re lucky Jamie wasn’t seriously injured. The referee’s not called it the way I thought it should be.
“I asked him his opinion on it and he said at the time he didn’t think it was, but we’ve reviewed it on the video and it wasn’t great.
“He’s one of our key players and teams target him, we know that and he has to take the hits. When the hits go overboard, it’s up to the referee to protect the players.”
Neilson was relieved that his side managed to battle back from being 3-1 down in the second-half to secure a point, thanks to Callum Paterson’s goal with four minutes remaining.
The Hearts manager was frustrated with the way his side fell behind, though, having opened the scoring through Walker.
Hamilton struck back with a Crawford free-kick and a Rakish Bingham double after the interval.
Walker reduced the deficit with a penalty after Dan Seaborne was judged to have fouled Don Cowie.
Neilson added: “We showed great spirit to come back, but we shouldn’t be coming places and scoring three goals and only coming away with a point.”
Hearts are now in fourth place, 14 points behind leaders Celtic who have a game in hand.