CRAIG LEVEIN insists he will continue to defend Hearts as he sees fit – even if it means riling opponents.
The past month has seen the Jambos boss take on Hibernian counterpart Neil Lennon as well as Celtic duo Brendan Rodgers and Scott Brown in two separate verbal spats.
He sparked a furious response from Lennon after insisting his side’s Edinburgh derby win had restored the “natural order” in the capital.
And the former Scotland boss was at the centre of another row last week after claiming players needed “a bit more protection” from Hoops skipper Brown.
Levein ratcheted up that fallout on Thursday when he hinted Brown had deliberately got himself booked against Kilmarnock on Saturday in order to ensure he did not risk a ban that would rule him out of next month’s Old Firm showdown with Rangers.
That remark saw Rodgers hit back by saying: “He’s a wee bit obsessed with Browny, isn’t he?”
But Levein insists he will continue speaking his mind if he feels his club have come under attack.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup clash with St Johnstone, he said: “I’m not trying to [get under people’s skin], I’m just pointing out things that are obvious, that’s all.
“I’m doing what I think is the right thing for this football club, for my football club.
“People say things and have said things in the past that I think are having a go at the club for whatever reason and I don’t like that.
“I feel my position in the managerial role is to stand up for the club so I’m going to do that.”
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