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Hearts boss Craig Levein says he feels the pain of derby loss to Hibs as badly as fans

© SNSHearts manager Craig Levein
Hearts manager Craig Levein

Craig Levein last night insisted he shared the agony of the Hearts support over the loss to Hibs.

The Tynecastle manager was barracked by furious fans after the defeat, the club’s first at home to their Edinburgh rivals in the league for six years.

“Listen, when we lose a derby match nobody hurts more than I do,” he said.

“I understand the nature of it. The players understand the nature of it as well.

“There isn’t anyone in the Hearts dressing room who doesn’t feel the same anger and frustration that supporters feel.”

Levein, however, denied the game had put his players under extra pressure to succeed in Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Inverness Caledonian.

“I don’t have any worries about that,” he said.

“Coming into the Hibs game I was confident we would perform and we did. I am confident we will do the same next week, hopefully with a different outcome.

“Having the semi-final next is a good thing for us.

“There are only four teams in Scotland left in and we are one of them.

“There is a real opportunity to progress to the game on the last day of the season.”

While Levein felt Willie Collum had denied his side a penalty for Stephane Omeonga’s challenge on John Souttar, he stressed the players couldn’t shirk responsibility for the outcome.

“I thought it was a pen and I thought McNulty was offside for the first goal but I’m looking for the reasons for us not winning the game. It was about wastefulness in front of goal,” he said.

“Goals change games and we needed to get a second to put us on easy street.

“The more chances we missed the more I thought it was going to be one of those days.

“I have seen clearer-cut pens and I had a look at Willie’s position and I don’t think he was in the greatest position so he maybe didn’t see it.

“I don’t want to blame that because I don’t think that was the main reason for us not winning the game.

“Hibs scored with their first two shots on target which is clinical and we were the opposite of that.”

Souttar, meanwhile, admitted he felt he and his team had been hard done by.

He said: “I said to the ref at half-time that it was a stonewall penalty. I touched the ball and Omeonga volleyed me.

“I know it’s difficult for referees but if we get that it completely changes the game again in our favour. It’s small margins and Hibs got them today.”