Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Hearts 2 Celtic 1

Georgios Samaras insists the whole Celtic team must be blamed for the defensive frailties that surfaced again in the defeat by Hearts that kept them four points behind Rangers in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title race.

When Samaras gave the visitors the lead at Tynecastle after 21 minutes, it looked like they would go within a point of their Old Firm rivals with some ease.

However 10 minutes later, after hesitancy by Glenn Loovens in the Hoops defence, an attempted saving tackle by Gary Caldwell on Jamie Mole saw the Celtic skipper sent off, with Jambos captain Michael Stewart scoring from the spot.

Although Celtic bossed the rest of the match, Ismael Bouzid's header from a searching David Templeton cross after the break, in what was a rare threat from the Gorgie side, gave Hearts three unlikely points.

Samaras, after scoring for the fifth consecutive game with his 10th of the season, said: “We are a team. If you want to blame somebody, you must blame the team, not just one player.

“It is just mistakes, they are part of the game and there is nothing we can do about that.

“Of course we are disappointed, we were 1-0 up and in the 90 minutes we were the better team and created more chances than them.

“I thought Hearts were playing with 10 men and not us.

“They had only one chance in the whole game and they scored and there is nothing we can do about that now.

“We have to keep the many positive things and playing good football.”

Celtic manager Tony Mowbray refrained from criticising his defence as publicly as he had earlier in the season but there was no mistaking his concern.

He said: “It's something that we have tried hard to eradicate but we conceded in an all too familiar fashion.

“You change things on the training ground and we get back to work.

“It's a daily thing about working with all parts of the team.

“There were plenty of positives but the big negative is that there are no points.

“We were disappointed in the way that we lost the second goal. However, we had a lot of opportunities but didn't take them.

“I haven't seen the red-card incident again but I don't think too much changed. We made enough chances.”

Hearts boss Csaba Laszlo revealed he was going to replace Bouzid just before he grabbed the winner with his first goal for the club.

The Hearts defender, who was sent off against Hamilton recently after picking up two yellow cards, was cautioned minutes before his winner after appearing to gesture at the Celtic fans.

“It doesn't matter if he scored or not,” said Laszlo, who pulled off the striker immediately after his crucial goal.

“I was angry at Bouzid after getting an unnecessary yellow card. I was also angry that he did not follow me tactically.

“There was 15 minutes to go and he had to be careful about picking up another yellow card.

“I had it in my head the two yellow cards he picked up at Hamilton, it was the same situation.

“It was indifferent if he scored or not, he was coming off.”

Bouzid, who claimed his yellow card was for showing the ball to the Celtic fans who had jeered him when he careered off the pitch after being fouled by Samaras, said: “The manager told me that I might have got a second yellow and it would have been more difficult for us and I accept that.

“I didn't know I was being substituted before I scored.

“But the most important thing was the three points and I am very happy about that.

“The Celtic fans were close to me and I showed them the ball but the referee gave me the yellow card. Maybe he thought it was aggressive, I don't know, but it is finished now.”

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