Ryan Stevenson defends his Edinburgh derby tackle on James McPake

The Hearts midfielder says he went in ‘hard but fair’ on the Hibs captain.

Trouble flares after Hearts' Ryan Stevenson (2nd left) put in a tackle on James McPake (right).
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Ryan Stevenson has defended his tackle on Hibernian captain James McPake during Thursday’s Edinburgh derby.

The midfielder went in for a challenge with the Northern Irish international on the left touchline but Stevenson appeared to go in with two feet, leaving McPake in some discomfort.

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon described the tackle as ‘shocking’ but referee Willie Collum chose not to show any card.

And speaking to Hearts News, the 28-year-old said: "It was 50-50 and the ball was there to be won. I went in hard but in my mind I went in fair too.

"It may not look great in slow motion but my only intention was to win the ball, nothing else.

"It was a typical Edinburgh derby with hard tackles going in all over the pitch, from both sets of players.

"Some challenges have been highlighted and others forgotten about, but that's all part and parcel of football. I'll always give 100% every week in a Hearts shirt, be it tracking back to defend, bursting forward to shoot or trying to win possession."

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