Raging Nick Montgomery takes VAR review as Hibs 'punch to the face' as 2 decisions still rankle with boss now

Hibs manager Nick Montgomery
Hibs manager Nick Montgomery -Credit:SNS Group

Nick Montgomery says it's as good as a 'punch to the face' for Hibs to see the VAR review panel admit that two big decisions against them were wrong.

The SFA released findings from an independent panel with 10 incidents in the Premiership since the start of February deemed incorrect. Among them were two big calls that cost Hibs, one against Hearts in the February Edinburgh derby and the other against St Johnstone in April.

It was found that Hearts should not have been awarded the penalty from which they equalised in the 1-1 draw at Tynecastle, and that Montgomery's side SHOULD have had a spot-kick in their 2-1 home defeat by St Johnstone in April while the match was goalless. Hibs subsequently missed out on the top six by a point and an angry Montgomery said: "Looking at the incidents that came out this week, it's just like another punch in the face, I'll be honest.

"To have a derby win taken off us, taken off the fans, the boys who put in the effort to win that game, in an incident that everybody knew was wrong on the night... For that to come out in a report, when everyone knew it was wrong at the time, it's unacceptable. The big picture, the big impact it has on seasons and where teams finish in the league. Clubs have invested into a VAR system to ensure that we don't get these decisions wrong in massive games. That is to help the referees.

"So for the VAR to call the referee over in the Hearts game, for instance, to review it - and everybody knows it's wrong, that really does beggar belief. I think the decisions we've had this season, especially in this latter part, have really impacted our season."

Montgomery said "there's always a chance" when asked about the prospects of loan pair Bournemouth playmaker Emiliano Marcondes and Hertha Berlin forward Myziane Maolida remaining at Easter Road beyond the end of this season. "They're two players who have come and resurrected their careers a little bit," he said of the key duo who arrived in January. "They've really embraced the club and have enjoyed their time here.

"They're discussions that are ongoing. We have to work within the budget that we have. There's never a guarantee on anything until a player signs a contract but we're constantly looking for players that can come in."

Montgomery refused to give much away about whether long-serving duo Lewis Stevenson and Paul Hanlon - both of whom are out of contract in the summer - are entering their finals weeks as Hibs players. "We'll get to the end of the season and have those conversations," he said. "You're talking about two players that are fantastic servants to the club and ultimate professionals.

"They're probably frustrated in terms of the amount of game time they've had this season but they have been great team-mates. The likes of them and a few others who are out of contract at the end of the season, there will be discussions that will happen in the next few weeks. Nothing has happened in terms of making 100 per cent decisions but there have been discussions going on and (updates) will be released in the next couple of weeks."